EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

June 24, 2014

Editorial: Some cheers, some jeers for recent newsmakers

JEERS to one of the worst examples of parenting we’ve ever seen.

It took a jury less than two hours last week to convict Roland Dow of 11 charges in connection with the severe beating of his girlfriend’s 3-year-old son. Dow, of Plaistow, was accused of assaulting the toddler, failing to get him medical help, coaching him to lie to a social worker and secretly recording the social worker’s visit.

Dow, 28, inflicted a “reign of terror” on the boy, prosecutors said, punishing him during torture sessions in the bathroom over minor misdeeds.

Prosecutors showed jurors photos of the boy’s injuries and videos showing the child whimpering in pain and crashing to the floor, while Dow is heard yelling at him to “Get up!” and “Stop having a fit!”

“You can hear the anger, you can hear the hatred and you can hear the rage he felt toward this little child,” Assistant County Attorney Patricia Conway said, as reported by the Associated Press.

Dow faces decades in prison. A sentencing date has yet to be determined.

The boy’s mother, Jessica Linscott, 24, is serving 2 1/2 to 7 years in prison for child endangerment and witness tampering.

In the fall of 2012, Dow and Linscott dropped the boy off at a hospital with a brain injury that caused temporary blindness, head-to-toe bruises and burns on one hand and arm before heading off for a vacation at a Florida resort. They were arrested there two weeks later.

The terrible, brutal treatment of this poor little boy at the hands of his mother and her boyfriend is heart-breaking. The calculated attempt to hide his injuries and their callous abandonment of the child as they took off on a vacation is nothing short of depraved.

Dow and Linscott deserve every minute they will spend in prison.

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