Judge, lawyer urge mother of nine to tie tubes
A 45-year-old mother of nine, who is pregnant with her 10th child, was persuaded to have a 'tie-off' procedure done after two senior members of the legal profession caused her to reflect on her circumstances.
The woman, Donna Blake, who is six months' pregnant, was brought before the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on charges of being in possession of ganja and taking steps to introduce prohibited substance into a correctional facility. However Senior Parish Judge Lori-Anne Cole-Montaque and defence attorney Charles Williams turned the spotlight on her fertility.
Williams, in a plea mitigation before Cole-Montaque, said that his client is a sweets vendor and has spent eight days in custody due to her arrest.
Cole-Montaque surmised that taking care of 10 children is not an easy task. She asked the defendant if she was having financial difficulties to which Blake nodded in the affirmative.
"When you realise that you are fruitful in that way, you have to be very, very careful," Cole-Montaque remarked.
Williams then asked his client if she wanted to tie her tubes, which would prevent her from getting pregnant in the future.
"Come to me, I will carry you to a doctor to get it done for free," Williams told the defendant.
His offer was met with snickering from persons in the courtroom. However, Cole-Montaque underscored the importance of the conversation, insisting "Nothing nuh wrong with what Mr Williams a seh".
"Sometimes people a say some things, but this man is not only a lawyer but a citizen who sees everybody as his brother and sister -- who sees somebody in need of help -- nothing nuh wrong with that," the judge said.
She continued: "As a matter of fact, we need more people like that. You see a problem, don't just say a woman a breed and everybody chat. Do something!"
Blake pleaded guilty to the offences. The court heard that she attempted to smuggle two ounces of ganja to her 19-year-old son, who was being held at the Kingston Central police lock-up on October 9.
"Is the first I am going to jail and I am asking you to forgive me, please and thanks," Blake begged.
"Me think you have enough problem on you already, you hear. You're admonished and discharged," the judge said, in relation to the charge of taking steps to introduce prohibited substance into a correctional facility.
In relation to the charge of possession of ganja, the judge said she would take the time spent in custody into consideration.
After the judgment was handed down, Williams enquired if Blake would sign an agreement for her tubes to be tied. The fruitful mother did so and the agreement was witnessed by a policeman.
"I am going to tie off," she said, after being asked by the lawyer to make a definitive statement.
Cole-Montaque then sought to assure Blake that there is "no shame" in making such a decision.
"I think you've had enough. Miss, let me tell you, real talk, I have one and it rough on me and me a judge, right? If it rough on me, I don't know how you manage with nine and one more on the way. Me nuh want you feel nuh way, I'm not shaming you. I am speaking to you with love and compassion in my heart, but as a woman to a next woman, you have to be more careful. You can't afford it and you going find yourself in more problem," the judge reasoned.