Wednesday 20 November, 2019

Bail granted to Kingston women on child renting and begging rap

After making several appearances in the St Ann Parish Court, the two Kingston women who are charged with breaching the Child Care and Protection Act after they were allegedly caught using two small children to help them beg on the streets of the parish last month, have been offered bail.

The women - 34-year-old Shakarta White, unemployed of Fourth Street, Kingston 12, and 41-year-old Lavern Thomas, also of Fourth Street in Kingston - were charged with public begging and cruelty to a child.

They were each granted bail in the sum of $100,000 on Thursday by Senior Parish Judge, Vaughn Facey.

The women had been denied bail on previous occasions because there were challenges in getting verification of their addresses.

On Thursday they were ordered to return to court on December 13.

The St Ann police reported that the two women were seen by law enforcers with two children, a one-year-old girl and an eight-month-old baby boy, begging money from citizens in St Ann's Bay on Friday, September 20.

The women were later arrested and following a probe by the police, it was discovered that the children who were in their possession were not related to the women.

Further investigations revealed that the women had allegedly rented the children from their biological mothers, who are also from the Kingston 12 area, as part of a public begging scheme.

The mothers of the children are also before the court, having been summoned by the police subsequent to the probe into the matter.

The children are now in state care.

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