Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 9th 2014 Contents news
February 9, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
The Mt Hope Women s Hospital has
recorded 183 teenagers giving births for
The teenagers had all attended the hospital s
antenatal clinic and were questioned by the
hospital social workers and doctors.
Most of the births were reported to the St
Joseph Police, a source at the hospital said,
but the source could not confirm if anyone
was charged for statutory rape.
Yesterday, the police could not verify if
these reports were made, stating that such
information could only be provided by their
seniors---who were unavailable.
Of the 183 teenagers who gave birth over
the 12-month period, 17 fell within the "14
years and under" bracket, while 75 were in
the 15-to-16 age group, and 91 were 17 to 18
Statistics obtained by the Sunday Guardian
showed that for the months May, August and
December, nine girls in the "14 years and
under" age group gave birth. The only months
that recorded no delivery for that age group
were March and November.
In the 15-to-16 age group, 12 girls delivered
babies in March alone, while in October, 11
girls became mothers.
January saw 15 girls in the 17-to-18 age
group delivering babies.
On Tuesday, Dr Tim Gopeesingh said there
were 2,500 teenage pregnancies every year.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad- Bissessar
on Friday said parents, doctors, nurses, teach-
ers and employers could face a seven-year
prison term and a fine of $15,000 if they had
reason to believe a minor was sexually active
and failed to report it to the police.
Yesterday, Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan
described the figures as "alarming."
He said children learned what adults taught
them: "If they see all these Carnival gyrations
and sexuality on television, the system forces
children to experiment." He said long ago
children jumped to calypso lyrics, but now
they gyrated, encouraged by adults.
Khan said one should not assume that the
fathers of the 2,500 babies were older men.
parents must shoulder blame
Head of the police Victims and Witness
Support Unit Margaret Sampson-Browne said
if a parent discovered their teenage daughter
was pregnant, they should take the child
immediately to a doctor and then the police.
She said some parents must shoulder the
blame for failing to seek the interest of their
"If a child goes through a full-term preg-
nancy and the mother does not know, it is
sending a message, to me, that behaviours
are occurring in a particular way that is not
being observed by the parent."
However, Sampson-Browne said if a teenage
girl was having sex with an adult who was
culpable, "there is a policy and procedure
under the Sexual Offences Act" to charge the
"If both children are having sexual inter-
course, in law, there is a particular paragraph
that deals with that. It is not to say the offence
is not committed. It says something about
Sampson-Browne said the Sexual Offences
Act had not been repealed or replaced and
the Children s Authority was working fever-
ishly to get legislation in place to protect chil-
Sampson-Browne said anyone who pre-
vented or deterred someone from making a
report of a girl being sexually molested or
abused could be fined $7,000 or sentenced
to two years in prison.
Three men were killed in sepa-
rate shooting incidents that
occurred between Friday night and
yesterday. Their deaths have
pushed the murder toll to 58 for
In the first killing, 40-year-old
Rawle Francis, the owner of GPS
Experts, a company which installs
security devices in vehicles, died at
5.35 am yesterday at the Port-of-
Spain General Hospital, after being
shot around 10 pm on Friday.
According to police, Francis had
responded to a stolen vehicle at
Jerningham Avenue, Belmont, and
Queen s Park West, when he was
ambushed by the car thieves who
shot him and escaped. Francis lived
at Santa Cruz Old Road.
Hours later, around 1.45 am yes-
terday, gunmen struck again, this
time murdering a former fire offi-
cer.Police said Raymond Miller, 59,
of Fourth Street West, Delamare
Avenue, Trincity, was discovered
dead in the roadway by a neigh-
Residents of the area reportedly
told police they heard what sounded
like gunshots around 1.45 am, but
thought it was Miller being his usual
noisy self and setting off fireworks.
Police said Miller was playing
loud music at the time of his death.
He had several matters in court for
being a nuisance to his neighbours
with the loud music. Police said
they found ten spent nine-millime-
ter shells at the scene.
And in the third killing, 19-year-
old Akile De Silva of Scorpion Alley,
Carenage, was digging a trench in
his yard when a gunman stood on
a hill nearby and opened fire on
him, killing him instantly. The mur-
der took place around 12.10 pm yes-
Homicide detectives are contin-
uing investigations into the three
183 teens give birth
at Mt Hope for 2013
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