Boys allegedly involved in wounding of Azoo charged

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By Latrishka Thomas 

       A charge of wounding with intent to murder has been filed against two of the five boys who were allegedly involved in the violent attack on Jahhym Azoo. 
       While police spokesman, Inspector Frankie Thomas confirmed the charge, another source said the duo will be appearing before the Child Justice Board today for the commencement of an assessment/inquiry.
     Since the charge falls under Schedule III of the Child Justice Act 2015, the duo was being held without bail up to last night, and they will remain in custody at least until they apply for bail before the High Court. 
     Meanwhile, the Board which will be overseeing the assessment under the Act, and which was recently appointed by the Minister of Public Safety, Steadroy ‘Cutie’ Benjamin, is headed by Magistrate Ngaio Emanuel-Edwards with Pastor James Gore  and two social workers, Norma Jeffrey Dorsett, and Ava Weston.
     According to the law, the source said, the board does not have the power to issue bail or release the boys into the custody of their parents, except in instances where the offences fall under Schedule I or II. If or when the boys are granted bail, another issue arises, because the law recommends that they be held in a safehouse, but there is no such facility in Antigua and Barbuda, according to the source.
     Seventeen-year-old Azoo has been fighting for his life at the Mount St. John’s Medical Centre (MSJMC)  after being attacked by  boys under the age of 18 in Grays Farm.
Since then, residents and family members of the victim  have been crying out to authorities for “Justice for Jahhym”
     In fact, a few persons were seen protesting outside the Police Headquarters this past Saturday.
One protest sign  read “MINORS are turning into CRIMINALS and our POLICE are doing NOTHING!! WE do NOT feel SAFE!!”
       Azoo has undergone surgery and is still recovering at the hospital.

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