Friday, April 12, 2024

Mother washes her hands of son


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After a desperate attempt to find her first-born son, in an effort to prevent herself from being remanded to HMP Dodds, a mother at her wits’ end washed her hands of the young man yesterday.

Deborah Gittens was back before Magistrate Douglas Frederick after leave was granted for her to bring her son before the court.

This was after her son, 24-year-old Jakeel Stephenson Gittens, of no fixed place of abode, jumped the wall at Verdun House, St John, where he was undergoing treatment last Wednesday.

Jakeel had admitted having cocaine apparatus last October 22, as well as stealing ten bottles of beer worth $20 belonging to Black Pearl Party Cruises between October 20 and 21.

He was originally remanded to the Psychiatric Hospital when he appeared in court on October 23, to determine his suitability for treatment at Verdun.

After an extension at the Black Rock, St Michael hospital, and he was deemed to be a suitable candidate, he was released into his mother’s custody and granted $2 000 bail.

However, last Friday, when the accused was absent from his scheduled court appearance, a warrant was issued for Deborah to present him, and the matter adjourned to June 1.

Jakeel appeared in the District “A” Magistrates’ Court yesterday, barefooted and looking unkempt.

“Would you prefer your mother to go to prison? She came to court and wept tears, saying she had no money to pay the court, after I was going to take the money from her,” the magistrate told the man, asking if he had resumed using drugs.

“I was in a bad space, Sir. It ain’t no drugs,” he said, as he looked straight ahead while standing in the dock.

“You betrayed her after she said she would give you a last chance at Verdun,” the magistrate said.

Deborah, standing in the witness stand, told the court she visited every “drug hole” looking for her son.

“He came by me on Sunday, had a bath, ate and I gave him bus fare,” she said, adding he had spent time with his younger brother who had been crying every day for him.

In a raised voice she looked at Gittens and declared: “I am done!

“In front of all these people, in this court today, I am telling you I am done. I was your last chance,” she cried.

She told the magistrate her son had been giving trouble since age seven or eight. She said she worked three jobs while he was a student at St Leonard’s Boys’ in an effort to get a house away from the environment in which they lived.

“You have crash-landed. You will go to prison and sit and wait until this trial starts,” the magistrate said.

He revoked Jakeel’s bail, relieved Deborah of her duty as his surety and remanded him until June 6. (RA)


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