In Supreme Court this afternoon [Oct 15], Ms Jennifer Franks, 57, pleaded not guilty to manslaughter, but pleaded guilty to three counts of unlawfully endangering children to danger that could cause permanent injury.
She had been charged with causing the death of 18-month-old Nasir Burgess.
Required to render the facts to the seven men five woman jury, Crown Prosecutor Carrington Mahoney told the jury that on 9th September 2011, Ms Franks was operating a day care centre at her residence in Pembroke.
He told the jury that she put the children in playpens in a room. Nasir was close to and within reach of an airconditioner power cord. Around 12:55pm, she left her residence to drive to Medical House to collect her daughter.
On returning home she checked the room. She found Nasir with a power cord around his neck and lying in an unresponsive state. She first tried resuscitation.
Around 1:42pm she called 911 and requested the ambulance. Reckoning that the ambulance was taking too long, she put the child in her car and drove to KEMH. On the way to KEMH she saw the child’s mother and took her along with her to the hospital.
At the hospital, shortly after arrival, Nasir was declared dead by a doctor.
Justice Greaves noted the Crown’s request for a custodial sentence and that Ms Franks should be remanded into custody; but Justice Greaves agreed with defence lawyer Saul Froomkin’s request that, for the time being, Ms Franks should remain free on bail until sentenced.
Justice Greaves ordered a Social Inquiry Report and that Ms Franks should re-appear for Mention on 1st December unless an earlier sentencing date was agreed.
The first charge of manslaughter will not be proceeded with and will ‘lie on file’, while the charges she pleaded guilty to carry a maximum penalty of three years in jail.
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