Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dad fined $1,000 for beating 7-year-old son (Belize City, Belize)

Seems the 7-year-old son fell through a damaged ceiling while trying to retrieve a toy. But instead of making sure the child was okay after such a fall, dad JAMES LOCARIO HARVEY beat him with a metal object.

Father fined $1,000 for beating 7-year-old child
Written by Administrator
Wednesday, 30 December 2009 00:00
BELIZE CITY, Tues. Dec. 29, 2009

This morning a father was lucky not to be jailed after he was charged for beating his 7-year-old son so badly with a piece of metal object that the boy had to be taken to the KHMH for treatment.

On Wednesday, December 23, 7-year-old Joel Swasey, went into the ceiling of his house to get a toy and he fell. His father felt that he had no place being there at the time and that’s why he beat him as a means of disciplining the child.

But instead of being checked for injuries after such a great fall and making sure the boy was fine, his father, identified as 42-year-old James Locario Harvey decided to beat the child.

That disciplinary measure almost had him thrown in jail after he was charged in Magistrate’s Court this morning for wounding. Locario, a Mechanic and resident of #2 Myvette Street pleaded guilty to the charge despite not agreeing with the facts of the case. In court, Magistrate Lewis imposed a non-custodial sentence after she warned him of his action and noted that he went out of line in beating the child so badly after his falling incident.

In court, Locario claimed he beat the child because he got permission from the child’s mother to discipline the child. Locario said that he was at work when the child fell that day at around 2:00 p.m. Upon his arrival, he learnt that his son had gone up into the ceiling, and the ceiling, which has deteriorated, fell in with him. It was the child’s mother who reported to incident to the police which led to Locario’s arrest.

That day the child’s mother took him to the KHMH for treatment. A doctor who saw the child after the fall observed lacerations and abrasions to the lower back of young Swasey and classified his injuries as wounding. That’s when the mother reported that the child’s father had beaten him after the fall. Locario insisted to the magistrate that after he beat the child, there was no visible injuries and that the child was fine.

Despite his disagreement to the child not being injured, he pleaded guilty to the charge of wounding and said he did not want to waste the court’s time. For the guilty plea, Magistrate Lewis fined him $1,000 plus $5.00 cost of court to be paid by March 15, 2010 in default six months imprisonment. Locario also complained to the magistrate that his constitutional rights were violated after police held him in custody for five days. He claimed he was picked up on Christmas Eve and was brought to court five days later.