Eight-year-old Makeisha Maynard’s life ended when she was planassed to death by her father for a bedwetting incident. Her father, Michael Maynard, was later found hanging at their Caroni home.
Police said they were told by the girl’s ten-year-old brother that Makeisha regularly wet the bed and on Saturday night when Maynard woke up to find his pants soaked in urine, he sent the girl to bathe before beating her with a cutlass. When he realised that she was not responsive, he dressed her, combed her hair and placed her on a bed.
The boy told police his father was crying and kept saying he could not live with himself for what he did to Makeisha. He then locked him in the house and left promising to return but never did. At about 6 pm on Sunday, when the boy realised his father had not returned, he jumped out of a window and alerted neighbours.
Maynard was found hanging from a tree near his small galvanized shack at Boysie Trace, Kelly Village.
The house was destroyed by fire yesterday evening. Police suspect arson as the reason.
Makeisha’s mother, Maysonia Thomas, said she ran from a life of abuse with Maynard. She claimed that when Makeisha was just six days old, the infant was hit on the head during an incident where she was being beaten by Maynard. She said, as a result, the girl suffered developmental delays.
“I left him when my daughter Makeisha was three months old and my son was three years old,” Thomas said.
She said Makeisha could identify numbers, colours and shapes but “her brain not connecting to the hands for her to write.” She said Makeisha and her brother lived with their stepfather until last year February when Maynard took them away.
She claimed she had called their grandmother who told her that she had them.
“I decided to leave them there with her because I know she took good care of them because Michael used to abuse them too. I didn’t know that he took them out of school and had them out for almost a year.
“I guess his family never went for them because he was also abusive and aggressive towards them too and everyone was afraid of him. It’s only Sunday night I got the call that Michael beat she for wetting the bed,” she said.
Thomas said she was stabbed five years ago and lodged several reports against Maynard at police stations, including Morvant, Caroni and CID, but he was never arrested.
Maynard’s neighbours, who did not want to be identified, described him as a monster and in recent days he had been more aggressive than usual and seemed “very frustrated.”
Makeisha’s brother is currently in the care of the Children’s Authority and Thomas said she will try her best to regain custody of her son.
Family offered counselling
Minister of Social Development and Family Services Camille Robinson-Regis yesterday appealed to citizens who find themselves unable to cope with life situations to seek help. As she extended condolences to the Maynard family, she revealed that National Family Services would be contacting the family to provide counselling support.
“Such support continues to be made free of charge to individuals and households. Other services which provide counselling and psychosocial support include the ministry’s annual cycles of community-based parenting workshops that are held across various districts and which are tailored to equip participants with the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to treat with issues including adolescence, bullying, trends in technology, teenage pregnancy and so on,” Robinson-Regis said.
Also, community outreach caravans are being held throughout the country, with the next one scheduled for Pinto Road, Arima, on Wednesday.
Robinson-Regis appealed to men, in particular, to seek out the help they need in raising their children.
“Issues arising out of the failure to manage anger and intimate partner violence are becoming increasingly prevalent, and more men are being identified as perpetrators,” she said.
The minister emphasised that individuals need to take responsibility and avail themselves of the services they need.