A 39-year-old registered nurse accused of beating her boyfriend’s two-year-old daughter, causing the child’s colon to rupture, has been granted $100,000 bail.
Roxanne Oliver, of Diego Martin, yesterday appeared before Magistrate Aden Stroude in the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court charged with causing grievous bodily harm to the child during an incident at her home on August 12.
Oliver was not called upon to plead and stood silently in the prisoner enclosure with her head bowed as the charge was read.
Her mother Doreen, who was the only person present for her appearance, was allowed to be surety for her bail. In the event Oliver fails to appear in court for future hearings, her mother would be called upon to pay the bail amount.
As part of the conditions of her bail, Stroude ordered that Oliver refrain from coming within 100 feet of the victim until her case is determined.
Her attorney, Richard Mason, informed the court that Oliver’s boyfriend, the child’s father, lives five streets away from her apartment. Stroude said he was satisfied the distance fell beyond his order.
After she was granted bail, Oliver and her mother managed to evade media personnel waiting at both public entrances to the courthouse and were allegedly allowed to leave through the basement garage used by magistrates and senior members of staff.
Oliver was due to appear around midday but her hearing was deferred, as Stroude said he wanted a representative from the Children’s Authority present to give an account of the child’s current condition and arrangements that would be made after she is discharged from hospital.
When the authority’s senior legal officer Rachel Noel-Bute arrived in court, she explained that her organisation would be seeking to take temporary custody of the child.
“Once the child is discharged she will be received into the care of the authority. We will be seeking to place her in alternative accommodation until the police and the authority’s investigation is completed,” Noel-Bute said.
Oliver will reappear in court on October 26. According to police reports, the child’s 42-year-old father left his daughter with Oliver as he went to drop off someone.
When he returned three hours later, he noticed a bump on the child’s forehead and was told she had fallen down. He took to hospital the following day after she complained of feeling unwell and was repeatedly vomited.
The child underwent emergency surgery two Fridays ago as doctors repaired the damage to her colon and to part of her bowel that was found to have gangrene. The child remained warded in the Wendy Fitzwilliam
Paediatric Hospital in Mt Hope up to late yesterday.
In a brief interview with the T&T Guardian yesterday evening, the child’s mother said her daughter’s condition was improving.
“She is off the ventilator and is already eating some solid food,” the woman said.
She also noted that she had briefly given the father custody of the child but would be seeking full custody when she is released from hospital.