Mom faces jail time for neglecting 3-y-o
The mother of three-year-old Nevalesia Campbell, who was butchered after being abducted, will be charged under the Child Care and Protection Act.
"Our investigations revealed that the child was left unattended, and that is how the perpetrator was able to gain access to the child," Jamaica Constabulary Force's Communications Officer, Superintendent of Police Stephanie Lindsay, told THE STAR.
Under the Child Care and Protection Act, a person commits an offence if he willfully exposes a child to be assaulted or physically mistreated. If convicted in a Circuit Court, an adult can be imprisoned for up to five years.
This is way less than the penalty that is being called for by many persons who have been using various social media platforms calling for the death penalty.
But Diahann Gordon Harrison, the children's advocate, said that is not the answer.
"If there is gross negligence that would have led to the child's death then she should be held accountable, but the death penalty will not fix the ills of this society," she explained.
Instead, Gordon Harrison urged Jamaicans to become a village that protects children again.
"We need to as a nation send a serious message to negligent parents that are not protecting their children. This will not be tolerated because we can't afford for anymore of our children to face a similar fate," she stated.
Public Defender Arlene Harrison-Henry said the mother of the deceased child should face consequences, but death penalty was not the answer.
"The mother exposes the child to danger and her own conduct left an opportunity for the child to be open to being abducted, but what is the police doing to catch the culprit?" she queried.
Harrison-Henry, who told THE STAR that she does not believe in the death penalty, said the public should allow the investigations to be completed before these calls are made.
"Charging the mother with negligence is really putting a band-aid on a dreadful sore, what the police need to do is go after and find the culprit that committed this horrific crime," she said.
The body of young Campbell was found in a gully in Orange Hill in Brown's Town, St Ann, with chop wounds on Sunday, several hours after the mother had filed a missing person report on Sunday.
Reports are that the mother left her now deceased daughter and her twin brother at home unsupervised on Saturday night. Campbell is suspected to have been abducted, sometime between late Saturday night and early Sunday morning.
Superintendent Gary Francis, (acting commander for the St Ann police) says police investigations revealed that the mother had made contradicting statements when she initially reported her daughter missing.
According to Francis, the mother had said she was home sleeping when her daughter went missing, but their investigations revealed that she was not at home for several hours between Saturday night and early Sunday morning.
The mother's common-law-husband, who is not the child's father, will also be charged by the police under sections of the Child Care and Protection Act.