newsday.co.tt- A MOTHER will know next month her sentence for leaving her six-year-old child home alone.
The little girl got out of bed and was found at 1 am on the roadside.
On Tuesday, Salisha Shallow, 27, of Sea View Drive, Marabella, pleaded guilty to wilful neglect of a child. The incident happened five weeks ago and Shallow had been in jail since, unable to access bail, while her parents took care of her daughter.
Senior Magistrate Jo-Anne Connor, presiding in the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court, heard from police prosecutor Cleyon Seedan that at about 1 am on June 27, police from the Marabella Police station were on patrol in Sea View Drive when they spotted the child standing in the road alone. Acting Cpl Farrel spoke to her and she said her mother had gone to the drugstore.
When asked, the child confirmed there was no electricity in the house.
The police went to the drugstore, Seedan said, and spoke to Shallow, who replied, “Officer, I simply went to the drugstore to make some photocopies. I really left her in the house.”
The police Child Protection Unit was contacted, the prosecutor said, and on June 30, WPCs Jenine ‘O Brien and Barbatundey tried to interview the child, but were prevented from doing so.
Seedan told Connor Shallow said loudly, “Officer, my neighbour that call allyuh Marabella police for me scratching up meh child back and beating she. All yuh never come when the boy was trying to burn down the house.
“So I feel allyuh had no right to come, ’cause I was jus trying to break the child fever, and them call allyuh instead of offering to carry the child hospital if they know the child was sick and have fever.”
Police, Seedan said, also charged Shallow with disorderly behaviour and obstructing a police officer.
Attorney Cedric Neptune pleaded for Connor to temper justice with mercy, since Shallow is the mother of two and on that night, she believed she could have made it back home from the drug store before her daughter awoke. She is a single parent, he added, and is currently writing a book about her life.
“She is on to the second chapter, ” Neptune said.
Connor said she felt compelled to order a probation officer’s report. She called Shallow’s mother, who said the child is in her care.
“I need to look and see what is happening,” the magistrate commented.
She put Shallow on her own bail and ordered her to return to court on August 12.
Every Saturday, Shallow must check in at the Marabella Police Station.