Boy drowns; caregiver charged with negligence

NASSAU, Bahamas (CMC) — A 41-year-old woman is due to reappear in court on November 14 after being granted US$7,000 bail on a charge of alleged negligence in the drowning of an 11-year-old boy whose body, clad only in an underwear, was found in a pond near the Oakes Field Sports Centre Golf Academy earlier this month.

Stephanie Hanna pleaded not guilty to the charges when she appeared before Assistant Chief Magistrate Subusola Swain on two counts of cruelty to children in connection with the drowning of Gerodo Atwill Taylor Jr on August 1.

Hanna is accused of neglecting the boy while he was in her care and custody. She is further charged with allowing Taylor Jr to be in the yard of a body of water, which was insufficiently guarded, resulting in the child's death by drowning.

When the body was found, police said then they believed the child had been there for at least 24 hours.

Police press liaison officer, Chief Superintendent Chrislyn Skippings, told reporters soon after the discovery that she wanted to "send a firm message to parents that you need to know where your children are.

"You need to ensure that your children are always with a responsible adult," Skippings said, adding the police have a zero-tolerance approach when it comes to child neglect.

"If our investigation reveals that [in] this particular incident that there was some form of child neglect you will see the parent or parents being charged in connection with this matter. We have a zero-tolerance approach when it comes to our darlings, the children. Children are our future and we are supposed to look out for these children," she added.

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