Tuesday 25 July 2017

Opinion: Granted the privilege to father, he chose to murder

People are better than this
Marvyn Iheanacho, 39 has been sentenced to life in jail for the killing of his stepson Alex Malcolm, he is expected to spend a minimum of 18 years in prison and I honestly do not think that is justice enough. [BBC News]
Through fables, fairy tales and stories passed down from generations, we have heard ugly stories about stepmothers and their evil machinations. Tales that immediately coloured our views of people and stereotyped them long before they had the opportunity to prove they were much better and just as loving as any parent can be.
Recently, I saw a viral video of a stepson asking his stepfather to legally adopt him as his son, the stepfather broke down in tears at the request, but also showed a great love for not just the mother he had a relationship with, but also for the stepson who he loved and treated as his own. The fundamental point is we all have the ability, facility and capacity to step into loving guardianship and parenthood of those, not of our loins, stepfathers and stepmothers all. [Metro]
It should never cost a life
Having a parent figure in the home during child development can be a wonderful experience for child and to be given the opportunity to impart into a life must be a privilege.
Now, I do not know Marvyn Iheanacho’s background apart from the fact that his name suggests a Nigerian heritage. Some of that might have informed his need to be a disciplinarian in the family into which he was accepted and that is not a bad thing. The problem is when discipline crosses into battering and brutalisation occasioning harm and in this case death.
Alex Malcolm was 5, he lost one of his shoes and at that moment was in the care of Marvyn Iheanacho. Maybe Alex as prone to losing things for whatever reason, I was quite a bit careless as a child too, whilst I was scolded and maybe excoriated, I was not inflicted upon with physicality. In the same vein, Marvyn can find no excuse in the way he physically abused Alex, denied him immediate and needed hospital treatment which consequently led to Alex’s death two days later in hospital, in November 2016.
There was a better way
Marvyn could have approached this matter in a different way, he would have taken Alex by the hand and gone around with him to look for the missing shoe. By so, building a bond between himself and the boy, because the missing shoe was eventually recovered.
However, Marvyn was less a man than his physicality belied, he harmed the boy who sustained head and stomach injuries in the assault, lied to the mother about what happened, attacked the mother when she sought help for her son and when faced with taking responsibility for his actions, he pled not guilty.
Rot in jail
I am glad that the judge saw through his lies and perfidy, his sentence should be a veritable lesson on the role and responsibility of parenting. A child left in your care is first vulnerable and then dependent on you for protection and safety for themselves, their happiness and their lives. It is a role that as an adult one can choose to excel at, bringing all the resources of our deepest humanity to bear to mould the child into someone better than ourselves.
Marvyn Iheanacho failed to grasp that opportunity, he killed a poor helpless boy out of rage or ill-discipline and for that, he must go to jail for a very long time. My hope is he never again sees the freedom and pleasure of life he denied Alex Malcolm. Only then would justice be fully done for the sad and unpleasant demise of the little Alex Malcolm.
Rot in jail, Marvyn Iheanacho.

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