Court approves interim payment for abused teen’s care

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

A HIGH COURT master has approved an interim payment of a little over $800,000 to the mother of the teenage boy who received $2 million in compensation for the physical and sexual abuse inflicted on him at the St Michael’s Home for Boys and the St Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital.

Master Sherlanne Pierre approved the interim payment after the boy’s mother made an application to the court following the Privy Council’s ruling in December which restored the $2 million award for the abused teenager.

The award was made by Justice Avason Quinlan-Williams in 2017, however, it was reduced in 2021 by the Court of Appeal which held that the teen’s admissions to St Michaels in 2012 and the hospital in 2016 were not unlawful.

In that ruling, the Appeal Court did hold that his constitutional right to the protection of the law was continually infringed when he was kept at both facilities after the Children’s Act, which prescribes that such children be kept at suitable community residences, took effect in 2015.

In her ruling, Quinlan-Williams ordered that the total amount of the compensation was to be paid into the court and put in an interest-bearing account and from it, payments were to be used for the teenager’s expenses for his care, treatment, welfare and accommodation.

She also ordered that it could only be disbursed on an application to the High Court registrar or a master.

In her application for disbursement, the teenager’s mother asked for funds to be paid to the Housing Development Corporation for the purchase of a two-bedroom unit which has been specially designed for someone with a disability as well as funds for his treatment, for her to purchase a vehicle to take him to his clinic appointments, nursing care and for her to complete training in first aid and nursing assistant care so she can care for her son and his special needs.

The boy has Prader-Willi Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder, which inhibits physical and cognitive development, produces feelings of insatiable hunger leading to obesity and is associated with behavioural problems.

His mother has expressed concern that the private facility where he is currently housed cannot provide him with the care he needs.

She said when she last visited him, earlier in January, she was shocked at his condition.

“My son is languishing and I desperately need him to be released into my custody so that I can take care of him.”

In response to the application for disbursement, the Children’s Authority admitted the placement of the teenager at the private facility was because of the unsuitability of his mother’s housing accommodation at this time.

It also set out the details of the care plan it prepared for the teenager’s care by his mother if he was returned to her.

The matter will again come up for a hearing on July 28 before the master for an update.

The boy and his mother are represented by Anand Ramlogan, SC, Jayanti Lutchmedial and Jared Jagroo.