Boy, six, found chained to bed
Father in custody, abuse charges likely By Samantha Alleyne
Stabroek News
December 7, 2001

The Mackenzie police have held a father in connection with the discovery of his six-year-old son shackled for three days by a dog chain to a bed at Kara Kara, Linden.

A police release stated that the man was taken into custody yesterday.

Stabroek News understands that the police visited the child's home on Wednesday afternoon and found the child, who only turned six on November 24, secured to the bed.

The police immediately took control of the child and placed the grandmother, who was at home at the time, in custody. The grandmother was later released on $5,000 station bail while the father of the child was arrested yesterday.

Stabroek News visited the child's home yesterday and relatives confirmed the incident.

A female relative said that the Prep B, Kara Kara Primary School pupil, whose parents were separated, lived with his grandmother but he was in the habit of getting into trouble.

She stated that a day did not pass without the child being beaten by relatives. "He is very disrespectful to adults and would cuss them out," the relative said.

The grandmother said that she took her grandchild almost everywhere she went, just to keep him out of trouble but he still managed to get into trouble with neighbours. "I love my grandchild and he is a very bright boy, but he is very disgusting and I does pray for him to change," the woman told Stabroek News.

The woman said that she went to church on Sunday night and when she returned she saw "a new brand dog chain" in one of her chairs and it was reported to her that the father had bought the chain that day for $900 to restrain her grandchild.

According to the woman, the father said that he was tired of the child getting in the way of others and since the child was finished writing end-of-term exams he would keep him home from school and chain him in the house.

"He don't abuse the child. He just thought he was doing a good by keeping he out of trouble," one of the women said.

According to the women, the man chained the child to the foot of a chair and padlocked both ends. He then pocketed the keys to the padlocks and went to work as he felt that if he left them with the grandmother, she would sympathize with the child and remove the chain.

The women said that the chain was long enough for the child to walk about and his grandmother gave him the chamber pot whenever he felt like visiting the toilet. She also made sure that he had food.

They also said that the relative left confectionery for the child to eat while he was chained. They said that for the first two days the child was chained to a chair but after children in the neighbourhood saw him through the windows and teased him, the father decided to chain him to the bed.

She said that in the morning the child would usually take a bath early and wait for his father to come and chain him. "But is nah as if he was ill-treated, he could walk around the house," she added, saying that the child took it as a joke.

Some of the child's schoolmates told the class teacher what they saw and the teacher in turn reported the matter to the headmistress.

The police were then called in.

It was just after lunch that ranks visited the home and took the child away. The women said that the ranks attempted to break the chain with a hammer, but when that did not work a neighbour lent them a cutting pliers and they cut the end of the chain, which was attached to the bed. They then took the child to the station with the chain dragging behind him. He was later handed over to the probation officer in Linden.

According to the women, the police visited the home yesterday and removed some of the child's clothes.

The women said that the man's employer had told him to let the child stay with him, the employer, instead of chaining him but the man decided to chain the child, because he felt the child would leave his employer's home.

Stabroek News understands that the child was brought to Georgetown and was being looked after by the Welfare Department of the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security.

The police have the authority to visit a home without a warrant where it is reported that a child or anyone is being abused physically or mentally. They are given this right under the Domestic Violence Act 1996.

Contacted yesterday, the police said that the man in custody could be charged with child abuse.