Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 28th 2017 Contents A6 news
guardian.co.tt Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Mother claims son, 14, physically, sexually abused at boys' home
Four years after her son was
assigned to the St Michael's
Home for Boys as she was un-
able to properly care for him
at the time, a young mother is
now seeking the assistance of the
Children's Authority in getting
Pleading for the return of her
14-year-old son who suffers with
Prader-Willi Syndrome before he
is damaged by further sexual and
physical abuse, the Siparia mother
says she just wants him back home,
"Where no one else can hurt him."
Angry as she says her son is now
being force-fed medications meant
for persons suffering with autism
and schizophrenia as he remains at
the St Ann's Mental Hospital, the
angry woman is unsure of where to
Prader-Willi syndrome is a com-
plex genetic condition that affects
many parts of the body.
In infancy, this condition is char-
acterised by weak muscle tone,
feeding difficulties, poor growth,
and delayed development.
Beginning in childhood, affect-
ed individuals develop an insatia-
ble appetite, which leads to chronic
overeating and obesity.
People with Prader-Willi syn-
drome typically have mild to mod-
erate intellectual impairment and
Behavioural problems are com-
mon including temper outbursts,
stubbornness, compulsive behav-
iour such as picking at the skin and
sleep abnormalities may also occur.
Additional features of this condi-
tion include distinctive facial fea-
tures such as a narrow forehead,
almond-shaped eyes, a triangular
mouth, short stature and small
hands and feet.
Confirming the boy had been
placed at St Michael's since the
age of ten, senior medical officials
yesterday admitted he has present-
ed "a lot of medical challenges and
Attributing this to his condition
as well as the abuse meted out to
him during the last four years, of-
ficials said while a health-care plan
had been developed for him at St
Michael's under the old adminis-
tration, this was not the case as in
2014/2015, it was scrapped when the
reins of the home switched hands
following the State's intervention.
Unwilling to say much except to
confirm the child's physical and
sexual abuse was "horrific," officials
said a request for him to be sent to St
Ann's to undergo psychiatric evalu-
ation was welcomed as one way of
removing him from the situation in
However, the boy's mother argued
that even though he remains warded
at the mental hospital, her son was
She said he was not being allowed
to participate in any education-
al programmes and had stopped
receiving speech therapy and wa-
ter-aerobics as part of his daily re-
The woman claimed her son was
being given medication including
Haldol and Risperdal.
Haldol is an anti-psychotic drug
that decreases excitement in the
brain and is used to treat psychotic
disorders like schizophrenia and to
control motor movement and verbal
tics, and is used to treat severe be-
haviour problems in children.
Risperdal is an anti-psychotic
medicine that works by changing
the effects of chemicals in the brain
and is used to treat schizophrenia
and symptoms of bipolar disorder
(manic depression). Risperdal is also
used in autistic children to treat
symptoms of irritability.
Indicating she had approached
officials at St Michael's with a view
to having her son returned to her,
the tearful mother said she has been
unsuccessful in getting him back as
the Children's Authority previously
claimed to have been unable to lo-
cate a place for him.
The woman explained that even
though she is willing to take him
back now, the Authority is still un-
willing to return him to her custody.
This, she claimed, has resulted in
her life being adversely affected as
she is unable to cope emotionally,
knowing the trauma her son is ex-
An update from the Children's
Authority acknowledged that a
mother's care was critical for the
well-being of a child.
However, they said in this case,
"The child requires intense sup-
port and specialised care which the
mother is unable to provide."
They added that the mother's
living accommodations were not
suitable for a child with such spe-
cialised needs at this time.
Revealing they had engaged the
boy's mother on several occasions
and she claimed to be awaiting State
housing before being able to accom-
modate her son, the Authority said
their actions were prompted by the
court as, "The child has been in res-
idential care for over five years due
to neglect. In 2012, he was removed
from a Children's Home and placed
at St Michael's School for Boys by a
After flooding in south...
Penal family gets
help to rebuild
Braving the pouring rain yes-
terday, Sameer Ali began trying
to piece together the small wood-
en home he shares with his wife
and five children which was de-
stroyed by floods from Tropical
Storm Bret last week.
Ali, his common-law wife Ram-
rajie Chance and the children had
to be rescued from the same house
in Sunrees Road, Penal last week
Tuesday when rising flood waters
trapped them inside. Ramrajie, 32,
is pregnant with her sixth child.
The flood water, some four feet
high, saturated the plyboard walls
and wooden floor, leaving the house
Since then, the family has been
housed in the La Costena Activity
Centre in Penal. Through dona-
tions of private citizens and the
Penal/Debe Regional Corporation,
they have been provided with food
hampers, cooked meals, clothing and
other items. One generous donor
even gave the family a stove.
Yesterday, their luck continued
when a distant relative of Ali, who
asked to be identified only as 'Uncle'
purchased 20 sheets of construction
ply for them. Another donor, through
the office of Siparia MP, Kamla Per-
sad-Bissessar, donated another 10
sheets of ply.
At the house yesterday, the old
walls were removed and with the help
of Uncle and Ali's friends, Anthony
Jaggernauth and Harold Muradali,
new walls were put up.
Ply sheets were also nailed over the
gaping floor boards, as Ali said he did
not want the children to fall through.
"Uncle really came to Trinidad
for a holiday but when he see the
situation I was in, he came to help
me," Ali said.
The family is being assessed by the
Housing Development Corporation
(HDC) to determine if they qualify
for emergency assistance.
Ali said although he is holding out
hope for that assistance, he is trying
to get his family out of the activity
centre, so it can be used for other
"They have courses going on there
and for right now we can't remain
there all the time," he said.
Sameer Ali with family and friends brave bad weather conditions yesterday to rebuild his home which was
destroyed by topical storm Bret last Monday, Sunrees road, Penal. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
An ongoing dispute between
some Coalmine men ended
in one person being fatally
chopped on Monday night.
Sheldon Ramdhan , a 32-year-
old chicken depot operator, of
Cunapo Southern Main Road,
Coalmine, was pronounced dead
on arrival at Sangre Grande Dis-
trict hospital after being chopped
Police said a suspect, wanted
for questioning, gave himself up
Police said Ramdhan's death
was a result of on-going alterca-
tions since 2014.
Reports said around 8.30 pm
on Monday a man threw a piece
of lighted cigarette on the vehicle
in which Ramdhan's relative were
This, police said, resulted in a
dispute between Ramdhan and the
man. According to police, shortly
after the argument Ramdhan went
to the home of the man to pacify
Police said, however, there was
another quarrel during which
Ramdhan was chopped. The man
claimed to police that he was pro-
tecting his family from Ramdhan.
One of the neighbours, who
recognised Ramdhan, reported
the matter to the police.
A 26-year-old man, of Palmiste
Drive , Coalmine, accompanied
by his younger brothers, went to
the Arima Police Station and gave
himself up. He was handed over to
Homicide officers, Arouca, Region
11. The killing of Ramdhan takes
the total of murder toll to 244 for
Links Archive June 27th 2017 June 29th 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page