Cooper Raises Concerns About Sentence

April 24, 2018

“We must ask whether this sentence truly reflect the value that we place on the welfare and safety of our children,” Coalition for the Protection of Children Chair Sheelagh Cooper said after a father was given a suspended prison sentence for dropping his baby out of a second-storey window.

Last week Anthony Davis was sentenced to nine months in prison — however it was suspended for two years — for injuring his seven month old son.

The Supreme Court heard that the incident happened in July of last year, the day of the child’s baptism. Davis had drunk excessively during the celebrations and accompanied the mother and the couple’s son to a Devonshire home.

The court heard that once they arrived, an argument erupted and Davis picked up his son and it ended with the baby landing on grass outside the property, while Davis also went out of the window. The baby suffered a minor concussion as a result of the fall but has since made a good recovery.

Ms Cooper said, “The month of April is Child Abuse Awareness /Prevention Month, a time for reflection and review of the strength of our commitment to protecting children. It is a time to ask ourselves whether we are doing all that we can to prevent children from becoming victims of abuse.

“While we as a community have made considerable headway in terms of public education through SCARS and empowering children through the Coalition’s Speak Up Be Safe Program, a recent sentencing decision suggests that we still have some progress to be made in responding to the cases that finally reach the courts.

Speaking to the recent sentence, Ms Cooper said, “We have to ask ourselves as a community whether such an act should result in more that a term of probation with a suspended sentence.”

“There are two aspects to the sentencing process. One is specific deterrence [directed toward the offender] and the other is general deterrence [which is designed to send a message to the rest of the community that such an a dangerous act will attract a significant response.]

“In my opinion this most recent sentence fails to recognize the very real likelihood that this baby may well have died and we must ask whether this sentence truly reflect the value that we place on the welfare and safety of our children. “

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