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January 17, 2013
Star News


Woman gets off child abuse charges

Christopher Thomas, STAR Writer


A St James woman, who was before the court for boxing a child and tearing her blouse, got off with a stern warning when she appeared in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court yesterday.

Tavia Franklin, of Lottery, pleaded guilty with explanation to malicious destruction of property, and not guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm against the minor.

The court was told that earlier this month, Franklin and the child got into a dispute, during which Franklin slapped the complainant in the face, causing bruising and swelling. The child's blouse was torn in the fracas.

In court, Franklin denied that she hit the child, while telling Resident Magistrate Sheron Barnes that the child had been disrespectful to her.

"I held on to her blouse and asked her why she don't learn to have manners. She said that her father said she mustn't have manners to us, and chu she pull away, the blouse tear," said Franklin.

"Did she use bad words to you?" RM Barnes asked for clarity.

"Yes, Your Honour," said Franklin.

Meanwhile, the complainant's father told the court that Franklin's relatives have previously been abusive to him and his children.

"We have been 'verbically' (verbally) abused," said the father, prompting laughter in the courtroom. "I just want an injunction for them to avoid my kids, that none of her (Franklin) family should trouble them," he added.

"So what about the child's blouse?" asked RM Barnes.

"Just let it slide," the father replied.

"You need to tell the children that when they are passing by, to hold their heads straight and go down the road, and to respond to heavy words with nice words," RM Barnes told him.

"Don't trouble none of his children, no 'verbical' abuse, and you have an injunction now! Leave the children alone," the magistrate addressed Franklin, while a no-order submission was submitted on behalf of the complainant.

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