By Latrishka Thomas
The 18-year-old mother who was recently charged for failing to provide care and protection to a child — after a video of a two-year-old girl smoking was widely circulated — made her first appearance in the St John’s Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh asked the teenager and her mother about the whereabouts of the child, and the 18-year-old said that two women took the child from school without her permission.
Some time afterward, one of the women who the mother claimed took the child from school, told the court that she is the godmother of the child and was asked by the mother to take the child.
The teenager denied those claims and the grandmother told the court that she is completely unaware of where the child is.
Upon being given no clear statement as to the whereabouts of the child, the magistrate ordered social services remove the child from their care.
Both the mother and grandmother were in tears after the magistrate made the order.
“I love my grandchild,” the grandmother said, while the defendant tried to console her mother for the duration of the proceeding.
The magistrate then called the police investigator to the stand and she stated that a social worker had already been contacted.
Chief Magistrate Walsh indicated she planned to get in contact with that social worker to ensure the safety of the young child.
The matter was adjourned and the teen, who was represented by lawyer Michael Archibald, was told to return to court on February 15.
Late October, in a now widely circulated video, a minor was seen apparently smoking a ‘spliff’.
The toddler was holding a joint and coughing after taking a puff of what appeared to be a marijuana cigarette.
The voice of a woman, who seemed to be recording the video, was heard asking the child, “wha’ you a do dey?” and laughing.
Outraged residents have taken to social media to share their views on the matter.
They labelled the parents “irresponsible”, “crazy”, and “senseless.”
Some also stated that the woman was also a “child.” “That’s what happens when kids raising kids,” one woman said.
On the other hand, many people called for both the child and the mother to “get help.”