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Teacher's trial begins

BY PAUL HENRY Crime/Court Desk co-ordinator henryp@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, September 13, 2012    

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THE trial of Patricia Perry, the teacher of New Providence Primary School in St Andrew who is accused of almost blinding one of her favourite students by accident, started in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on Monday.

The teacher, decked in a black and white outfit, sat enraptured, not taking her eyes off of 12-year-old Tajoery Small as he gave evidence against her.

The youth testified that on December 1, 2009, he was struck in the eye with the metal tip of a belt that Perry was using to beat a student who was complaining over food.

Small testified that he was sitting at the front of the class at the time and that when he was struck in the eye Perry told the students to take him to the pipe to wash off his face. He said a teacher took him to a doctor's officer then to the Bustamante Hospital for Children where underwent surgery. He said he also did two surgeries overseas and that he doesn't see as well with the left eye.

"It hurts sometimes," Small said when asked about the condition of his eye by the prosecutor.

Perry is being tried on a charge of physically abusing a child, under the Child Care and Protection Act.

Under cross-examination from attorney Christopher Townsend, Small said that he wasn't sure if the belt that Perry had was tipped with metal, as he did not check it.

At one point during cross-examination Small broke down in tears, forcing a short recess of the proceedings.

He completed his cross-examination and the trial was adjourned until October 17, when a new witness is expected to take the stand.

The case is being presided over by Magistrate Grace Henry-McKenzie.

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