Entertainer Mr. Vegas yesterday showed up at the St Thomas Parish Court in Morant Bay to listen to the child cruelty case that has gripped the nation ever since a video of a mother beating a child went viral.
The woman, Doreen Dyer, made her first appearance in court yesterday at which time her bail was extended.
Dyer’s case was adjourned until November 15.
Vegas, whose given name is Clifford Smith, said that when he first saw the video he was very angry, but he has somehow looked beyond his anger at the mother’s actions to see the bigger picture.
“Whatever the court decides, we have to respect it. My hope is that the child will not lose her mother because I’ve seen cases where children who are put in various institutions end up worse off, and we don’t want this child to be a victim of an institution that is not well set up,” Vegas said.
In the video, a woman, purported to be Dyer, is seen beating a child mercilessly with an object that appears to be a machete. Vegas’ voice was among the choir of voices which expressed disbelief and outrage.
“We were disgusted by it and we’re still outraged, but the amount of things I do in life, if I neva did fi get forgiveness for it then maybe I wouldn’t be here,” the entertainer said.
Mr. Vegas said that it is his natural duty as a father and as a human being to help in whatever way he can. He, however, dodged questions as to whether he was footing the bill for Dyer’s legal fees, arguing that the focus should be on the well-being of the children.
He further said that he visited the school where the child in the video attends and met with her teachers and a vice-principal.
“They are saying that the child is a brilliant student, but that she has missed too many classes in the term, which is not good. And when they tell me her average, for someone who is missing out on so much, she has really done well. They say she has great potential,” he said, adding that his desire is to maximise on this potential and help to raise funds to ensure that her school fees are taken care of.
The I Am Blessed singer stressed that it takes a community to raise a child, and that if others become involved in the lives of those around them, then “it can make a world of difference.”