The nurse at the centre of a recent case of assault of an elderly woman returns to court on Monday after she was released on $3,000 bail this afternoon.
Thirty-seven-year-old Arielle Odinga King of Lynches Tenantry, St Philip was not required to plead to assaulting 84-year-old Jasmine Hall on April 28 when she appeared before Magistrate Kristie Cuffy-Sargeant in the District ‘A” Magistrates Court around 1 p.m.
However, her case was transferred to the District ‘C’ Magistrates Court where it is due to be heard by Acting Chief Magistrate Christopher Birch on May 23.
Earlier this week, a video went viral on social media showing the elderly resident of Roseville Home for the Elderly in Christ Church suffering physical and verbal abuse at the hands of a woman positively identified as King, who was seen striking her victim in the head with a book and a shoe, as well as kicking at her and firing insults.
“Don’t hit me, don’t hit me, don’t hit me,” Hall could be heard saying as she pleaded for mercy.
“Oh my God; have mercy, Lord Jesus,” she prayed, as the abuse continued.
Today, the victim’s daughter Barbara Daniel-Goddard sat beside Liesel Daisley, head of the SAFE Foundation, in court, King appeared uncomfortable as she leaned forward from the dock at times, bowing her head slightly.
There was no objection to bail for the accused caregiver, who is not known to the court. She was not required to plead to the assault charge.
However, once bail was granted and she exited the courtroom with her relatives that was when the drama unfolded.
As photographers sought to photograph her, King made a deliberate attempt to hide her face.
“Everybody done see she already,” one woman shouted, as King’s son began to get aggressive with one photographer.
He was however cautioned by police before he was allowed to leave the precincts of the courtyard.
It was from there that the victim’s daughter also vented her frustration with the legal system.
An annoyed Daniel-Goddard told reporters she was not only upset about the long wait from 9 a.m. until 1. p.m. for the matter to be heard, but also “bitterly disappointed” that the case was not actually resolved in one go.
“I was told that it was going to be at St Matthias [Court in Christ Church] and we got there for 9 o’clock, only to be told by a member off the Press that it was at this location, so we got here and then we sat waiting for hours . . . only to be told that it is bail $3,000 and we have to appear again on Monday. So yes, I am feeling a sense of utter frustration, I am feeling disappointed. The anger which I thought had subsided is actually increasing.
“On a scale of naught to a hundred, I’m actually at 100,” she told reporters.
Barbados TODAY understands that court began around 12.30 p.m. today owing to a personal emergency with one of the magistrate’s children.
However, Daisley was not at all impressed. She said today was “a classic case of victims big victimized all over again” when they have “to go from one court to another”, as she argued for “a complete overhaul of the judicial system”.
The entire elderly abuse episode has generated tremendous public rage.
However, no one is more frustrated than Daniel-Goddard, a therapeutic practitioner and counsellor with the SAFE Foundation, who admitted to Barbados TODAY she still wanted to “trash” someone in the videotaped abuse that is now “scattered” all over the Internet.
“My mom’s experience is a really bad experience. There is no doubt about it. It is everything that my mom would have been against . . . she would be horrified,” the daughter said, explaining, “I am not a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and any variation of that. I have a Facebook page for my business and that is all, but here I am, something that I totally hate, I find that I am scattered all over a damn Internet, including my mom, for eternity. And that is the last thing, it is the most indignant thing that I find that my mom is placed in.”
Her main focus right now is ensuring there’s swift justice for her mother.
“I would be deeply disappointed if this drags on any longer,” she told Barbados TODAY, while admitting that she knew very little about the local judicial system, having only returned home from the United Kingdom five years ago.
However, she revealed that she was still contemplating legal action against other workers at the Roseville Home, even though she said police did not seem to think they could pursue further prosecution.
She said so far her mother, who suffers from dementia, seems to have forgotten the April 28 incident.
Following a series of medical checks, she also reported that the elderly woman did not suffer any physical bruises or broken parts but maintains a hearty appetite, even though she appears skinny.
However, there’s some positive she hopes will come out of the “vile” incident.
“If it means that the legislation that we have in Barbados regarding the elderly actually gets drawn up faster and put out there, great! If it means that care homes and people who work in care homes have to be a lot more diligent, more proactive, observant and it increases the level of awareness of what goes on and who they employ, great!
“So in a way it [the incident of abuse] brings into the open, the things that have been going on under the surface, . . . but also it gives those persons who are hesitant, scared, unsure, feeling hard done by, feeling disadvantaged, vulnerable, a sense that, ‘hold on a minute, I can move and take an action,” she said, adding that in the future “all persons working in elderly care would have to think twice about their behaviour”.