Caymanian Woman Pleads Guilty To Child Cruelty Involving 12-Y-O Jamaican Boy

(JAMAICA OBSERVER) – A Caymanian woman who was charged with enslaving and neglecting a 12-year-old Jamaican boy is to be sentenced later this month.

Lurline Viola Henry Smith, 59, from East End in Cayman, pleaded guilty to charges of cruelty to a child in a Cayman Islands court last Friday.

According to a Cayman News Service report, Smith and her son were arrested in April 2019, more than three months after the child arrived from Jamaica, but charges were not brought until May 2021 after a long investigation.

The report noted that 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 and attend school.

However, the child was reportedly locked in Smith’s home and “treated like a slave”, the report said, adding that he was also never enrolled in school.

His case was later brought to the attention of the authorities when he ran away and an investigation was conducted, which led to Smith and her son being arrested and charged.

Smith’s son, according to the report, was freed last year after prosecutors were “unable to prove he had knowledge” of the cruelty that the Jamaican boy was facing at the house.

The child has since been returned to Jamaica.