Guilty mother returns to child

| 29/10/2011

(CNS): As a result of what the judge said were exceptional circumstances, a 32-year-mother was able to return to her family this weekend after receiving a two year suspended sentence for an attack on her own mother. Laverne Gould, who has been deaf since she was a child, pleaded guilty to wounding after she stabbed her mother in the neck at the home they shared in West Bay in April and has been in jail ever since. Gould’s mother suffered further injuries during the struggle when she woke to find her daughter sawing at her neck with a kitchen knife but has since forgiven her. During his sentence ruling Justice Charles Quin said the case was not the usual type of stabbing the courts deal with.

“It has to be said that this is not the normal wounding case that comes before this court,” Justice Quin stated inhis sentencing ruling as he suspended the sentence allowing Gould to go free.

He pointed out that she had never been in trouble before and was not considered by anyone as a danger or aggressive. The judge described the crime as a “clumsy attempt to injure” her mother.

The judge had heard during the sentencing how Gould was of previous good character. She was known to be a kind and loving person who after the incident had shown enormous genuine remorse and had pleaded guilty from the outset. She had written a letter setting out her culpability and remorse only days after her arrest on the night of the attack.

Her defence attorney said it was hard to explain why his client had committed such an uncharacteristic crime but pointed out that at the time she appeared to be under the influence of her four-year-old son’s father, a man she had previously lived with for some seven years but of whom her mother disapproved because of his violent behaviour towards her daughter.

The mother believed the relationship to be abusive and unstable, despite her daughter’s continued love for the man, who the court heard was not assisting with the care and maintenance of their son. The boyfriend disliked Gould’s mother and it was believed that his pressure, plus Gould’s difficult financial circumstances after becoming unemployed and frustrated by her limited communication as a result of what was described in the social enquiry reports as the simplicity of sign language, led her to commit the crime.

The court also heard how Gould’s mother as the victim of the stabbing had forgiven her daughter and, along with her young child, desperately wanted her to come home.
While the judge noted that courts cannot act on the victim's recommendations, he had taken the mother’s wishes into consideration alongside the fact that it was no ordinary case.

“Sometimes we have exceptional cases that do not fall within the normal sentencing guidelines. I do find that the circumstances of this case are exceptional circumstances,” Justice Quin said. “What is clear is that the defendant was a person of good character who has shown genuine remorse. She accepted her culpability at a very early stage.”

The judge said Gould loved her mother and her son and they both wanted her to come home. He said the court had to impose a sentence to reflect the gravity of the offence to which the defendant had pleaded guilty, as he handed down the two year prison sentence. “However in light of the exceptional circumstances surrounding the case I suspend the sentence for two years,” he added.

The judge also ordered that Gould undergo two psycho-educational programmes as recommended by the social worker on the case “Healthy relationships” and “Anger management” and that she must exhibit good behaviour towards her mother.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This only happened because she is a woman and a mother.  XXXX This was attempted murder of her own mother who was sleeping!  She is a danger to her mother and child and belongs in prison.


    I've has quie a few "lapses of judgement" in my day.  None of them including brutally stabbing and slashing at someone's neck while they were sleeping.

  2. Michel says:

    The mother has forgiven her challenged child. the daughter has a child of her own. At times discretion must be used and if the remorse is sincere there is a great chance for rehabilitation. We must learn when to forgive and learn to Love one Another. Without Love there is nothing. The Judge i believe used his proper judgment in this case and may this family get back with their lives. Not all cases should end in no chances of rehabilition. Thank you your honor for your compassion for this person. Many are quick to judge but few are willing to forgive without knowing all the facts. Michel Lemay

  3. Mary says:

    You armchair judges don't have all the facts.  Move along!

  4. Anonymous says:

    That is one old lady that will need to sleep with one eye open…..Hopefully the next target will not be the kids. If she snaps and hurts someone else that courts will be to blame…

  5. Julie Justesse says:

    This is exactly what judges are for and why mandatory or rigid sentences are unhelpful. In this case it was clear that no one would benefit from the further incarceration of a woman who made a single albeit serious mistake. She has already served time in jail and as a result her innocent child has also been punished. This is a sensible decision which will no doubt be crtiticized by those with blood lust and who have been brought up to only understand punishment and not forgiveness despite their claims of Christianity.

    Given our rising prison populaiton and rising crime eventually someone, somewhere in authority has to begin to realise prison is a last, and especially given the current lack of rehabilitaiton in the local system, a pointless resort. We need reform and we need it now.


    • Anonymous says:

      Let's see how forgiven you are when your child tries to saw your head off…

  6. Anonymous says:

    oh my god, attempted murder and she didn't even get sent down. what a ridiculous banana republic you are.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I must confess that this decision makes no sense to me what so ever.

    Stab your mother in the neck but say you're sorry and forgiven and go back to the scene of the crime.

    Clue me in Bobo, I don't get it.

    • Anonymous says:

      She tried to kill her mother, but thank goodness the sawing of her mother's neck with a knife didn't do the job.  So the judge sends here home because she is sorry…..She thought this horrendous deed out,XXXX.  What about the two indiviudals who killed Estelle, this was their first offience, do we let them out because they are sorry and this is the first time they did something like this.  If this woman gets annoyed at her mother again, the outcome may not be as good.  Sorrythis isn't the rationalization of a sane indiviudal trying to stab her mother in the neck (isn't that where the jugular is?) just asking….