Stacy and Antonio Fitzpatrick (FILE)
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Stay away from the girl. That was the warning to the Fitzpatricks, and every friend and member of their family, after the parents charged with wrongfully confining their daughter made a second court appearance yesterday.
Watchman Antonio Marcus Fitzpatrick, 49, and his 47-year-old wife Stacy, both of Brereton No. 1, St Philip, were in the District “C” St Matthias Magistrates’ Court where they denied wrongfully confining 19-year-old Antonia Fitzpatrick between June 1, 2017, and February 7 this year.
The two remain on $5 000 bail each but Chief Magistrate Christopher Birch added one condition.
“When she is discharged, it may well be that she may be taken to a safe house. Neither of you is to approach nor contact the complainant. Don’t send anybody to her. Don’t go to her. If you do, you will be remanded,” he told them.
But he turned down prosecutor Sergeant Rudy Pilgrim’s request to have the parents undergo a psychological evaluation.
“What is bothersome to the prosecution at this stage,” Pilgrim had said, “albeit both accused are on bail, is that the prosecution is of the opinion that a practicable exercise should be obtained in order to ascertain the psychological factor in relation to the accused.”
But the Chief Magistrate responded: “If other Government agencies wish to get involved, I have no problem with that. If the Child Care Board, the Welfare Department, the Probation Department want to get involved, we will leave it to them.
“But I don’t want to seem to be prejudicing the accused by ordering a report,” he added.
However, he did order one from the Psychiatric Hospital on the girl.
“What I would like as a matter of urgency is a report from the Psychiatric Hospital on the complainant as to her physical and mental health.”
Prosecutor Pilgrim had earlier said that even though he was not objecting to the Fitzpatricks remaining on bail, the charge was serious and he wanted certain information clarified.
He said the allegation spoke of “demons and diabolical sources” which was “bothersome at this stage”.
“My information is that other members of the household are exhibiting some of the characteristics,” he told the court.
“If the complainant is at an institution and it is alleged she is demon-possessed, it is alleged the accused have some healing powers to expel demons, the question is, why was professional intervention not requested in this matter? Who makes them an authority to expel demons? Who makes them the authority to decide who is possessed?” he asked.
He added the accused could be a danger not only to themselves but to the other children in the household, which included a three-month-old child.
However, attorney Carol-Ann Best said the three-month-old was a grandchild of another daughter who was 20 years old and not their child.
She added the two parents were “more than ready to submit” to any evaluation, either psychiatric or psychological, ordered by the court.
“The difficulty with this case is the fact of not going into the evidence. Even though I have instructions, this is not a case where it is straight down the line,” counsel argued. “There are a lot of variables involved in this matter.”
The matter was adjourned until March 27. (HLE)