Woman begs mercy for cousin who doused her with acid
Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator
Although 20-year-old Ann Marie Bailey is badly scarred by an acid attack two years ago, she still has a burning desire to achieve her goals.
But Bailey says the challenges she faces are too much to bear and, "sometimes I just feel like I would hang myself".
"What did I do to deserve this?" she kept asking over and over as she pointed to the scars on her head, face, hands and feet.
"The scars are all over my body," Bailey told The Sunday Gleaner.
She is sometimes scared to go out in public because people just keep staring at her.
"My greatest wish is to get someone to assist me to get a doctor to repair the damage to my face and hands," declared Bailey.
She has no relatives to help her as she is the eldest child for her mother who is unemployed and has four other children to support.
Bailey was told that plastic surgery would cost approximately $500,000.
"If someone could just help me with the surgery, I would pay them back when I get a job," she said.
Bailey, who lives in Ocho Rios, St Ann, was speaking with The Sunday Gleaner in downtown Kingston last week after she travelled to the Supreme Court building to hear the outcome of the case against the woman who threw the corrosive substance on her two years ago.
Yvonne Sergeant, the 56-year-old woman and a cousin of the victim, had pleaded guilty to throwing the substance on her when the case came for trial in the St Ann Circuit Court.
The matter was sent to the Home Circuit Court for Sergeant to be sentenced for causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
Bailey, who it seems has a heart of gold, urged Justice Carol Beswick not to send the woman who scarred her to prison.
Sergeant, who is on bail, is to return to court on Friday for sentencing.
The fateful day for Bailey was May 24, 2012.
She said Sergeant was selling a television set for $16,000 and she decided to buy it.
Bailey paid Sergeant $10,000 and took the television set promising to pay her the balance at a later date.
On the day of the incident, Sergeant went to Bailey for the balance of the money but was told that she could not get the money at the time.
"I told her that I did not have the money so if she could not wait she could take back the television and refund me the $10,000," explained Bailey.
The Fateful Day
"I was sitting outside and I saw my cousin who I call 'Auntie' passing with a bottle in her hand. I thought she was going to the shop to buy cooking oil. She walked close to where I was sitting and suddenly I feel something hot running from one side of my head down to the rest of my body.
"A plait of hair fell off my head to the ground and my body was burning me as if it was on fire," recounted Bailey.
She spent three days in the St Ann's Bay Hospital before she was transferred to the Kingston Public Hospital where she was admitted for 14 days.Bailey's dream is to be a teacher and she was working and attending evening classes up to the time of her ordeal .
Since the scars have healed, she has been to several business places seeking employment without success.
"I feel my physical appearance is the reason I have not been able to get a job," said Bailey, as she expressed disappointment that her dream to become a teacher may never be achieved.