The case is one of top priority for the Child Protection Unit (CPU) of the TT Police Service whose head, Margaret Sampson-Browne, commended the victim’s grandmother for observing signs of the assault and calling in the police.
Although still awaiting a full report on the incident, Sampson- Browne told Newsday yesterday, “We will be offering support to the family to repair them because that 13-month-old baby cannot speak for herself, but the adults have to be counselled. They have to be the voice of that 13-month-old baby girl. So we are here to give support to the adults so that their voice will be stronger to protect the baby from further harm.” Sampson-Browne added that she will be taking a personal interest in the matter because, “a 13-monthold baby cannot protect itself ” and must be protected from evil adults by caring adults.
“I really want to thank the grandmother who observed and took it to the police authorities to protect the child from further harm,” Sampson-Browne reiterated.
The child is being treated at the Sangre Grande District Hospital while two suspects, aged 48 and 20, are being kept at the Rio Claro Police Station pending further enquiries. A medical examination of the child’s vagina, police sources said, revealed there was a widening of the area which was swollen and red. According to reports, at about 8.50 am on Sunday last, the baby’s 42-year-old grandmother, was giving her a bath at their home in East Trinidad when she observed that the child’s vagina was reddish and swollen and the child became further irritable when she continued to wash her. This behaviour aroused suspicion by the concerned grandmother.
The grandmother enquired from her 11-year-old grandson if he had any idea what may have happened to the baby. The youngster revealed to his grandmother that he had seen the baby’s mother’s boyfriend placing his fingers into the child two weeks ago.
The baby’s grandmother, accompanied by the 11-year-old, went to the police station later on Sunday and reported the matter to WPC Ferguson.
The baby was taken to the Sangre Grande District Hospital where she was medically examined by Dr Moses, who in his report stated there was physical evidence of trauma and assault as indicated by unusual widening of the vagina complete with redness and swelling.
Ferguson carried out enquiries and detained the 20-year-old boyfriend of the baby’s mother and a 48-year-old man.
The Child Protection Unit of the TT Police Service was informed and a report sent to the Children’s Authority.
Police were yesterday securing statements from several persons before they send the case file to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) pursuant to the laying of criminal charges.
Newsday was also told that the baby’s mother had stated to the police that she was unaware of the incident. However, the 11-yearold who witnessed the incident is said to have told police that he had informed the baby’s mother about the matter, but she told him he was telling untruths against her boyfriend who is not his father.
Newsday understands that the mother who is involved in an educational programme, was accustomed to leaving the baby in the care of her boyfriend and a 48-year-old man who lives a short distance away from the home of the child’s grandmother.
Police believe that this is not the first time that the child had been sexually assaulted.