Negligent mother gets nine-month sentence
Rasbert Turner, Gleaner Writer
A Drewsland, St Andrew, woman has been sentenced to nine months' hard labour for breaching the Child Care and Protection Act.
Before handing down the sentence, presiding magistrate, Ann-Marie Nembhard, enquired why she should not send 47-year-old Icylin Jones to prison.
"Can you tell me any reason why I should not send you to prison, as it clearly shows that you have received a chance to do better and you didn't take it?" Nembhard said.
Jones, who was before the Spanish Town Resident Magistrate's Court, responded tersely.
"Mi nuh waan go a prison, mi try fi work wid di probation," she said.
This explanation did not sway the resident magistrate, who said Jones showed no remorse and was disrespectful to the court.
RM Nembhard said Jones' breaching of a prior probation order validated a custodial sentence.
The presiding magistrate also informed the accused that her social-enquiry report indicated that the children were virtually living on the streets, and that Jones put her boyfriend ahead of her kids.
It was revealed in court that in March 2009, Jones had received two years' probation, after her two daughters, 13 and 14 years old, were caught at a dance in Portmore, St Catherine.
She was told at the time that she should report to the probation department and abide by its recommendations.
Earlier this month, the children were again held by the police in Portmore. An investigation led to Jones being arrested and charged with negligence.
The court also ordered that the children remain in state care and appear in the Children's Court on February 24.