Harm or discipline?

By Anita Nembhard
Free Lance Reporter

A driver for the Human Services Department was charged and convicted on Thursday in the Magistrate’s Court for inflicting harm on a young relative he tried to discipline for having a hickie on her neck.

In an ironic twist, the employee for the Department where families seek help for abused and neglected children was found guilty of the same type of crime the Department tries to discourage.

Fredrick Neal, 41, was escorted to Court before Magistrate Deborah Rogers on a single charge after a doctor examined and certified that the injuries on the 14-year-old high-school student, was classified as ‘harm’.
Neal, a first time offender, appeared unrepresented and was shown leniency as a non-custodial sentence was imposed on him after he pled guilty to the charge. He was fortunate enough to be allowed to go home.

For the offense of ‘harm’, Neal was fined $700 plus a $5.00 cost of Court. He has until January 29th, 2016 to pay the fine or one month imprisonment in default of payment.
Neal allegedly tried to discipline the child by hitting her repeatedly with an unspecified object and caused numerous injuries to her hands, legs and other parts of the body.
The incident occurred on November 3rd but the matter was under investigation and Neal was not charged until Thursday.

In court, he admitted that he was upset when he saw the hickey on the child’s neck and when he tried to discipline her, she would not listen causing him to react in the manner he did.

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