The public is raising questions about sentences two men received after breaching the Medical Practitioners Act, 2009.
Patrick Robert William Matthew, a practicing chiropractor, and Arnold Joseph were both convicted in July for practicing medicine without the requisite medical licence.
They were both sentenced in the High Court on Friday, October 8, by Justice Anne-Marie Smith.
Matthew was ordered to pay compensation to the child’s family to the tune of $2,000 while Joseph has to pay $1,000.
The court has given them time to come up with the funds, as they have until 2022 to make restitution.
Justice Smith, in handing down her sentence, took into account the two months the duo spent on remand awaiting sentencing.
That the men were also first-time offenders was also considered, and this afforded them an automatic one-third discount off their sentence.
At their previous court appearance, the judge also heard a plea for leniency from the victim’s father, who spoke well of Joseph.
It is unclear whether the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) will appeal this sentence.
Meanwhile, as a result of the ordeal the victim went through, he reportedly has developed a fear of needles and doctors and he is still receiving counseling.
One man tells REAL News the punishment does not fit the crime, in his opinion, since impersonating a doctor is a serious offence.
He says the court did not seem to take into account the money the family would have spent on having the medical procedure performed twice, as well as funds spent on travelling to Barbados, where the botched operation was rectified.
“I would imagine that the parents spent more than $3,000 in this whole sordid matter; and now it’s like the perpetrators have benefitted instead of being punished,” the man says.
A disappointed woman says she believes the current justice system is carved out to protect criminals and not victims, based on sentences such as these, and calls the matter unfortunate.
Matthew, who resides in Gunthorpes, reportedly received fees on April 8 and 15 2015, after Joseph, the operating-theatre technician, performed the surgery unlawfully.