Barbados: Nursing childcare worker caught mistreating children in video

By Barbados Today

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Kathyann Nicole Severin

(BARBADOS TODAY) — A nursery childcare worker caught on closed-circuit video force-feeding, hitting and mistreating the children left in her care is now at the Psychiatric Hospital to be assessed after admitting to assault.

But the magistrate who sent her to the hospital for two weeks’ observation and diagnosis ahead of her sentencing raised concerns that she was able to get another job around small children while on bail.

Kathyann Nicole Severin, of Kirtons, St Philip, was ordered to the Psychiatric Hospital today to undergo a psychological evaluation after admitting to assaulting a nine-month-old baby and a one-year-old almost two years ago.

Magistrate Douglas Frederick remanded Severin to the hospital when she appeared in the District ‘A’ Magistrate court, after confessing to the crimes, which took place on November 14, 2016.

When she first appeared in court in May 2017, after voluntarily turning herself over to the police and admitting to the offences, she pleaded not guilty to the charge and was granted $2,000 bail.

Then 27 years old, Serverin was captured on video force-feeding the children, slapping them in their faces and generally ill-treating them. The incident was reported to the police and the Child Care Board.

Mitigating on her behalf, attorney Mohia Ma’at told the magistrate that his client was remorseful for her actions and had also apologized to the parents of the children.

Severin was currently working at a primary school and had completed four courses in early childhood development and classroom development and was presently studying psychology.

But Magistrate Frederick contended that having those qualifications meant nothing when one did not know how to cope with the challenges of the job.

“Many are called but few are chosen,” he said as he made it clear that he had a duty to protect society.

Two of the parents of one of the children were in court today to testify to the impact of the incident on both their child and family.

In being warded at the Psychiatric Hospital, a report is to be prepared for her sentencing.

She will return to the No. 1 District ‘A’ Magistrate’s Court on September 26.

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