(JAMAICA OBSERVER) – A Caymanian woman and her son have been charged with stealing a 12-year-old Jamaican boy and mistreating him.
They have been identified as 59-year-old Lurline Viola Henry Smith and 42-year-old Anthony Ricardo Jackson from East End Cayman, who are facing charges of stealing a child and cruelty to a child.
It is alleged that they enticed the child from Jamaica to the Cayman Islands, where he was abused, neglected and enslaved.
According to a Cayman News Service report, Henry Smith and Jackson were arrested in April 2019, more than three months after the child arrived but charges were not brought until May 2021 after a long investigation.
The report noted the crown’s case, which said the child was sent to Cayman as a result of an arrangement between Smith and his family, who believed he was going there to get a better chance at life. However, the child was locked in the home and made to undertake domestic chores. He was also never enrolled in school, the report said.
His case was later brought to the attention of the authorities when he ran away and an investigation was conducted, which suggested Smith could be involved in further child trafficking and enslavement, the report said.
The child has since been returned to Jamaica.
Smith and Jackson appeared in court for the first time this week and will reappear in court on Friday.