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(JAMAICA GLEANER) – “Come here, mi baby!”
That was how 44-year-old Doreen Dyer greeted her teenage daughter when she arrived at the Morant Bay Parish Court in St Thomas yesterday for a hearing after being charged with cruelty to child last year.
Dyer caught the attention and fury of many Jamaicans, following a video that went viral on social media that showed her beating her daughter violently with a machete while using expletives.
However, both Dyer and her daughter embraced each other as they spoke and laughed for a few minutes in the presence of supporters and friends.
Dyer’s eyes lit up when she recalled a few weeks ago when her children were allowed to join her for the holiday celebrations.
“The judge said they could come to the house for the holiday but they couldn’t make it on Christmas, but them come New Year’s Day,” she said, as she gleefully added that she cooked her usual pot of chicken back and stew pork.
“It was a good day. I really miss them. It just unfortunate that all this happen and I really feel bad about it.”
Following the hearing, attorney-at-law representing Dyer, Bertram Anderson, said the social enquiry report that was ordered by the court at the last hearing was still not ready.
He said the matter was, therefore, adjourned until February 9, where the judge, Justice Luciana Jackson, is expected to give an indication as to the possible sentencing should Dyer plead guilty.
A man who indicated that he and Dyer are first cousins said he was expecting a good outcome in the case, describing the mother as a “wonderful person”.
“She’s a nice person. It (beating) was a mistake and it’s unfortunate that it happened, but she really love her children,” said the cousin, who gave his name as Ian.
He noted that while they did not grow up in the same district, whenever they interacted, it was always an uplifting moment.
“The funny thing about it is that she is the peacemaker in the family. A nuff time some people in the family want to war and she is the one that will always step in and calm everybody down,” Ian said.
“I don’t believe in abusing children and I don’t believe that was her intention. We can’t expect children to just do what them want, because even the Lord chastens who He loves. But the love between them this morning shows you that the child is not being mistreated; it was just a mistake.”