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St Thomas residents beg for machete-beating mom

BY RACQUEL PORTER
Observer staff reporter
porterr@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, October 06, 2017

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A day after the mother who was seen in a video beating her daughter with a machete was released from police custody, St Thomas residents issued an appeal for the judge who will be presiding over her case to be lenient.

Doreen Dyer, 44, was on Tuesday charged with cruelty to a child and released from custody. She is to appear before the court on October 11.

The video, which went viral on Sunday, showed Dyer, dressed only in her underwear, hitting the girl with what appears to be a machete, while using expletives.

On Wednesday, when the Jamaica Observer visited the community of Bath where the incident took place, the residents, some of whom said they were shocked by the mother's actions, said she is a people person and a devoted mother.

“She always a tell mi say mi fi take time with my children and talk to them. I was surprised when I saw the video. I said to myself, 'They must have done something really bad for that to happen',” Shennette Robinson said, noting that the incident is unfortunate.

“We sympathise with her, when you are in anger you do all sort of things. To know that the video is from last year [and] it just a come out and how Jamaica a criticise her,” Robinson added.

Admitting that the single mother of five made a “wrong move”, Robinson suggested that Dyer needs counselling.

Another resident, Alfred Taylor, who pointed out that when he saw the video on social media he was concerned about the implications for Dyer, said he brought the video to Dyer's attention.

“Mi say to her say, 'Is a bad a thing that for you'. Mi say to her say if the machete did cut the little girl, who was also at the shop, what would she say. The little girl turn to me and say she would say she fell down and cut herself. Same time the little girl hugged her and say it was her fault and she ago behave herself,” Taylor recalled.

Like Robinson, Taylor said he, too, is in solidarity with the residents.

“Nobody nuh sleep Sunday night. She is a very nice woman. When my wife had my last child and she was supposed to do a surgery, she went with her and kept the baby. Last night she came to my house to watch the news, I told her that she made headlines. She regret it. I need the judge to have mercy on her,” the 72-year-old man said.

The senior citizen also said that despite Dyer's struggle to provide for her children, she is a good mother.

Retinella Simpson echoed similar sentiments.

“She is a good mother. She washes little clothes, she do whatever she can to take care of her children. She a good woman. If she cook 10 dumplings she a send two down here,” Simpson said as she assisted a customer at her stall.

Meanwhile, when the Jamaica Observer visited Dyer's home, she was doing her laundry. Seemingly remorseful, she told the Observer she was instructed by her attorney not to speak about the incident.

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