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Dec 30, 2010

Reformed ex-convict facing a hard knock life

There is a Creole saying that goes: When yoh think yoh have it bad, somebody got it worse. That saying applies to Leandro Roches Junior, a man who will admit that he has been through the system but that he has sought to reform his life.  But as we found out in our visit with him today, he has been dealt a hard hand. News Five’s Marion Ali reports.

Marion Ali

Three years ago, forty-one year old Leandro Roches Junior and his common-law wife, Ann Higinio, found out that they were HIV positive.  The news was a hard blow to the couple, made worse because they had a one year old daughter, Destiny.  The baby was also infected with the virus, and together, the family had to maintain a strict diet and take medication to avoid rapid deterioration.  But five months ago, Roches lost Higinio to the disease and been finding it difficult to provide for himself and his daughter who is now four years old.  Then one week ago, the Department of Human Services took custody of the little girl and placed her in foster care.  It dealt another blow to Roches.

leandro roches jr.

Leandro Roches, Jr., Needs Help

“The first I saw my daughter when she was born that morning, that just changed my life totally.  That gave me something to live for.  Then my daughter was taken away from me, just like that. I love my kid and I miss her, and I know she misses me.  I try to give her the right kind of food to nourish her properly to make sure she’s ok.  I try my best and anybody in my neighborhood can always vouch for that, all my neighbors, all my friends.”

As if losing his common-law wife and then his daughter was not bad enough, on Monday night Roches lost his house at sixty nine Cumberbatch Street in the Lake Independence area to a fire – allegedly set by someone who had a dispute with one of his sisters.  The blaze destroyed everything he owned – and left him even more helpless.

Leandro Roches

“I know the guys but the point is, ih never have to gone all this way, yoh know, cause they deprive me of something very important, my shelter. Two things happen to me in less than two weeks, my child was taken away from me, now my house got burned.  I mean mentally, I’m trying to stay stable and I’m trying to stay strong.”

Roches says he is trying to walk the straight and narrow but in order to do so, he needs your help.  He doesn’t want money, he says.  All he wants is material to rebuild his house or a job to earn his keep.

Leandro Roches

“Right now I’m totally despondent and I need help, all due respect.  And anybody out there who can help me to replace my place I would really appreciate it. I’m not permanently employed at the moment, arite?  I’m a hustler, you know?  I chop yard fi people, I run in sand, I do mi lee casting dehn, whatsoever I can do, odds and ends in order to survive every day.”

The other thing that Roches needs is to have his daughter back in his care.  He says he will get to visit with her on February twenty fourth of next year – a comment we observed brought tears to his eyes.  Marion Ali for News Five.

If you would like to help Roches you may reach him where he is staying at his father’s house at 6619 Police Street.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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6 Responses for “Reformed ex-convict facing a hard knock life”

  1. BZNinCALI says:

    Why was his child removed? Why is he not allowed to see his child for two months? Unless he is being accused of harming her he should be allowed visitation with supervision if necessary. I wish him luck with his job search because he will need to show that he has legitimate income coming in & a safe place for his child before she can be returned to him.

  2. Josie says:

    we should all try and reach out to help, after all we never know when it’s our turn for something to happen

  3. Belizean says:

    Mein that is low. I know this guy and I admire how committed he is to his daughter. She is always with him and even if its his last money for the day he make sure his daughter get something to eat. I once offered him a drink… he told me before spending my money on a drink for him better i give him the money so he can buy food later for his baby.

    They should at least give him access to see his baby for the New Year.

  4. cg says:

    i hope he keeps the faith cause the devil will always try to bring you down..


    Poor child, I hope she is safe from harm where ever she is today. Perhaps the child is safer where she is right now; her needs could easily be met and taken after without having to wait for hope from her father.
    The father does not have a job; his house is burned to the ground by an enemy and what if this poor child was asleep inside this house while the father was away, or hurt? Today we would be mourning her death.

  6. Earl Grey says:

    NOW IS THE TIME FOR THE NGO’s to step up to thew plate.

    A lot of them GOT A LOT OF MONEY RECENTLY…………..let’s see them put it to good use.

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