Mother Denies Beating Son Before Suspected Suicide

Judith McLean, mother of nine-year-old Tyreek Bennett who allegedly committed suicide on Friday, has denied claims on social media that the child took his life after being beaten by her.

The distressed 49-year-old higgler from the Zambia community in Central Village, St Catherine told The Gleaner that her son was "a gift from God". 

She said under no circumstances would she have contemplated harming her "wash belly", a term typically used locally to a woman's youngest child.

"People saying that mi beat mi baby and kill him but if mi beat mi baby and kill him mi bruk mi neck to how mi love mi baby," she swore. "Mi alone and God grow him and for me to come now and take advantage of him, no sir!"

She added: "A mi joy, the baby look on me and say Mommy mi a go come and take care of you, so who wouldn't love him?"


She said Tyreek, who was a student at Eltham Primary, was sick with the flu all week, and could not attend school.

But on Friday he wanted to go out for Jamaica Day celebrations and she did not allow him because of the illness.

McLean said the boy was with her until she sent him back home while she set up her stall for the day's business. 

A resident later discovered Tyreek sitting upright in a crib with a pair of socks tied around his neck. The socks were suspended from the top of the crib. 

The police have ruled the boy's death as a case of suspected suicide even as investigations continue.

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