It was a mother/daughter relationship gone wrong.
The mother, who destroyed her daughter’s cellphone in frustration after the girl refused to pull her weight around the house, ended up in court because the daughter called police for her.
But in the end, the daughter opted to discontinue the two criminal charges after apologising for her behaviour.
Michelle Anita Coward, a 42-year-old taxi operator, of Scotts Gap, Brittons Hill, St Michael, was in the District “A” Magistrates’ Court on Friday where she confessed to destroying her 22-year-old daughter Krystal Alleyne’s cellphone and assaulting her on March 6.
Station Sergeant Samuel Hinds, who outlined the evidence, said the mother had asked Alleyne to tidy the dining room table but this, said the prosecutor, was met with “verbal resistance” from her.
Coward “got hold” of her daughter’s cellphone and an argument ensued. The mother dashed the phone to the ground, causing it to be damaged.
The two had an altercation until a third party intervened and separated them. Alleyne then called in the police.
It was a tearful Coward who sought to give her side of events. The mother said her child had a six-month seasonal job with six months off.
“And during that six-month period when she is home, what is she doing?” asked Magistrate Kristie Cuffy-Sargeant.
“And during that time who provides for her?”
“In terms of the chores, who is required to do what?”
“It is shared,” Coward said.
The magistrate turned to the daughter for her side but had to chastise her for referring to her mother as “she” and “her”.
Alleyne went on to blame her mother for her nine-year-old brother’s rudeness.
“She didn’t do anything about it, but she still wants me to help her when she has to look after him. So, I told her if he is old enough to be rude and you are not doing anything about it, I can’t help you cleaning and thing.”
The argument on that day, Alleyne said, was about a house key.
“She decided that she wanted her key. I told my mother I left them on the table. That is when she proceeded to take up my stuff. After she, my mother, took up my stuff, my mother hit the phone in the ground.
“I told her I did not have the keys. I then had to look for them. Then she hit me in my head, she hit my back,” Alleyne told the court.
But Coward said her daughter would slap her brother across the face and hit him in the back.
“But I have offered to replace the cellphone because I did damage it,” she said.
“No, ma’am,” the magistrate told the woman, as she made the daughter apologise to her mother.
“I apologise for my behaviour. I am sorry for being rude and disrespectful and calling police for you and it would never happen again,” the daughter said.
She then opted to discontinue the matter.
“Given time, I hope you will be able to mend the bridges,” the magistrate said.
“Allow the dust to settle on this matter and I hope the mother/daughter relationship can be rebuilt.
“And when she has children, she will understand how a parent feels when another person disciplines their children.” (HLE)