The offender was hauled into court after her 26th criminal conviction. The 19-year-old, dubbed Britain’s worst teenage mum, has unleashed a reign of terror in her neighborhood.
The judge gave his verdict in the best interests of the child. Her previous behavior was so wild, prison would be the most stable place for her newborn baby. The offender has been jailed for 12 months.
The woman, who gave birth to her first child at the age of 16, is eight months pregnant by her 20-year-old serial conman ex-boyfriend.
The judge said, “You have an awfully sad life and background behind you. What’s in your interests, in your child’s interests, but more particularly in society’s interests, is that there is some stability, some proper medical help and some assistance.”
I feel such empathy for all the children raised in criminal, uncaring, truant homes. On the face of it, their lives will be lived without the hope of redemption.
In my novels Still Rock Water & Tidal Surge, the heroine can become one with people at the time of their greatest need. My writer's mind flounders at the challenge of redeeming one of the children in these circumstances. The closest I've come is during a vision in Tidal Surge. Here's the excerpt:
I shrug off my reluctance. My experience helps to take in the urban surroundings without the fuzzy edges making me dizzy. The colorful lights of a large city glow in the distance. Below, a young boy, approximately eight years old, stumbles along a paved area beside a sheet of illuminated water.
Concerned, I observe while descending. His steps take him close to tree limbs. He veers over a paved area to lurch toward the edge of the river protected by a metal fence where he staggers and falls.
Wondering if he's ill, I dive close to see a cute little Japanese face with spiky hair. He shouldn't be out alone during the night. I notice new white trainers. Someone must care for him. A half-empty bottle of sake protrudes from his coat pocket. Blood covers his knuckles and dots the front of his clothing.
He must have been in a fight. Where would a child pick up a bottle of alcohol? Desperate to help, I bond with him. I can't believe what I learn. Small for his age at twelve years old, Daiki mugs people. He stole those trainers. Underneath the recent memories, I discover other acts of terror on many more people—a total of seventeen in all. Each fills him with self importance.
Rather than judge society, I wonder what sort of life has led him to this point. He needs emotional help as well as physical. I must rescue his body if not his mind. I disengage from the small dazed boy and search the street.
Footsteps echo in the dark, revealing a man and woman walking together.
With a puff, I direct their attention to the boy's slumped form.
Mobile in hand, the man calls an ambulance.
Finished here, I slip into the void.