A mother of two, who lost custody of her son Ishmael Phillip, nine, when he was just a toddler, yesterday faced off with the boy’s step-mother at the Forensic Science Centre in St James.
However the squabble ended with both women weeping and comforting each other after they were shown Ishmael’s body. Relatives from both families said Ishmael had a large bruise across his face, which may have been caused when he was struck with a metal pipe by a male relative.
Philip was beaten at his La Horquetta home last Thursday. Police sources said he died at hospital and a male relative was arrested and a length of iron pipe seized. An autopsy confirmed cause of death as being from blunt force trauma to the head.
Ishmael’s biological mother Lyndy-Ann Alleyne of Upper Belmont Valley Road, told Newsday that eight years ago, when he was just over a year, she decided to leave the male relative after enduring years of abuse. “She went to work one day and never went back to that house,” said a relative of Alleyne.
“Next thing she knew is that she was being summoned to court for a custody hearing and she lost.” Alleyne’s son and daughter were ordered sent to the live with the male relative who is now in custody. What followed was years of abuse which culminated in Ishmael’s murder last week.
Last Thursday, the boy’s screams alerted a neighbour who rushed to his assistance. The child who began vomiting, later fell unconscious and was taken to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in Mt Hope and died at about 3.30 pm, while receiving emergency treatment.
Relatives told Newsday they were called by doctors and told that beside the injuries which led to his death, Ishmael’s body was covered with bruises and lacerations from previous beatings.
Newsday was told that Ishmael’s sister who is 12, lives with the stepmother. The traumatised child is expected to receive counselling.