Liberia: LRA Employee Allegedly Pours Hot Water on Girlfriend

Bernice Cooper: “He was aiming for my face but when I turned my face, he took the remaining hot hater and wasted it on my breast, stomach, arm and all between my thighs.”

MONROVIA – Twenty-nine years old Bernice Cooper, never thought a day would come when she would cry in so much pains from a third-degree burn allegedly inflicted on her by her boyfriend, Patrick Hover of the Liberia Revenue Authority, (LRA) after an argument on New Year’s eve.

She accused Hover of seeing another girl within the compound they live and because of this, he always told her to leave his house since they do not have any children together. 

Explaining her ordeal, Bernice said: “On New Year’s Eve, we started auguring about a girl he is seeing right in our compound, and he got vex and took the boiling pot of water and started wasting it on me. He was aiming for my face but when I turned my face, he took the remaining hot hater and wasted it on my breast, stomach, arm and all between my thighs.”

She continues: “He never took me to the hospital but boasted of working with LRA and that President Weah is his friend, therefore, nothing can be done to him. In fact, I am a nobody and do not have anybody to fight for me, but I will feel the pains and then he walked out of the house and left me to die.” 

Since the passage of the Domestic violence Act into law by the Government last year, Cooper is among many other women who are still suffering all forms of violence from their spouses, just as much when it was not passed into law.

Lakshmi Moore of Action Aid Liberia, speaking to FrontPage Africa said more people are not aware of the law because the Government has not printed copies for dissemination to enlighten the public.

 “A man burning his girlfriend to third-degree should not be released on bond because his crime is equal to manslaughter. Once he is released, he could go after her to harm or kill her. But again, there is a gap in the Domestic Violence act since it was passed. It has not been done in hard copies for people to be aware, just a few copies are out. So, a lot of awareness needs to be done,” she said.

Meanwhile, the LRA through its communication office D. Kaihenneh Sengbeh has distanced itself from the alleged actions of one its employees.

Sengbeh, speaking to FPA via Mobile said LRA has no say in Hover’s private affairs.

“All I can say is LRA has no fish to fry in Hover’s private affairs. If he committed a crime, let the law takes its course and deal with him,” said Sengbeh.

At the court, Miss Cooper further explained that her boyfriend did not take her to seek medical treatment until after five days when she had the strength to call her sister, who took her to the hospital.

Hover did not care about whether she lived or die because he never called to know how she was doing.  

According to Doris Clarke, sister of the victim,  Bernice called her on January 4th to say Patrick had burned her, but she thought it was a minor burn, not until she saw pictures of the burn to know it was bad. 

“I was shocked because Bernice was badly burnt and when she met me five days after her burn I took her to SOS, but was told the burn was three degree burn and it had gotten affected because she did not take treatment immediately when she got burn. The hospital pealed of the dead skin and you can imagine what kind of pains she is in, she cried so badly.” 

She further revealed that when she called Hover to take her sister to the hospital, he switched his phone off, prompting the family to call for his arrest and subsequent lawsuit. Hover has since been released on bail pending his indictment, something that is not going down well with the victim’s family.

“On New Year’s Eve, we started auguring about a girl he is seeing right in our compound, and he got vex and took the boiling pot of water and started wasting it on me. He was aiming for my face but when I turned my face, he took the remaining hot hater and wasted it on my breast, stomach, arm and all between my thighs.”

– Bernice Cooper, Victim
Patrick Hover allegedly poured hot water on his girlfriend, Bernice Cooper, during an argument over his alleged extra romantic affairs he was involved with

“The man who could not treat my sister and cut phone off in my ear was begging not to go to jail, and that he would sent Bernice to the hospital. The only reason he said it was because he was going to jail because his family has not even provided one cent to treat her. But now to our outmost surprise, we learned that he was released on bond this Friday evening and I do not feel good about it, so we are coming back to the court on Monday to indict him so criminal court ‘A’ can hear her case,” Clarke vented.

“I feel bad that Patrick would burn someone else’s child and not treat her and boast that because she is poor, nothing will come out of it. I hear he is being released, and it is Patrick’s right to be release on bond. To other parents out there, domestic Violence is a crime, so when it happens to any member of your family, come to the law and do not just sweep it under the rug and do in house settlement because the act could have cost my sister her life.” 

On Friday afternoon, at Temple of Justice Magisterial Court in Monrovia, the relatives of Hover were seen begging Bernice to release their brother and promised to treat her wounds if she should agree, but when she refused and said no man would accept her in the future with so much scars on her skin, journalist heard one of Hover’s brothers say; “This is why we are deciding to marry you, since she is this way.”

Denise Cooper, Mother of the victim, sat quietly, as if all hope was lost, and said she feels bad because her child is brunt badly and is being abandoned by the perpetrator; adding the thought of him being released on bond, makes her sick and they would  return Monday to the court to put in for an indictment.  

“My daughter needs to be flown out of here to get proper medical attention and Patrick Hover and the government should do that because Patrick Hover, said Weah and McGill  are his friends, so since it is that way, let them sent her for advance treatment. I seek justice, and if I do not get justice, I will bring women on the street to seek justice. I initiated a women group called Supreme sisters, so getting women on the street to mount pressure on Patrick Hover and the government is nothing,” she said.

When asked about Hover’s losing his job due to such negative story, she answered angrily: “I am thinking about my daughter’s life right now, I am not thinking about his job or title, because we are poor and have nobody behind us, so I want justice. I am hurt as a mother to see my second daughter burned this way and any mother would take action to see her child get the justice she deserves.

 Therefore, I am telling poor mothers like me who do not have money, to not comprise their children’s cases. Come to the law and seek justice, there are human rights lawyers and even the Female Lawyer to fight their cases. And to the government, let the justice system be vibrant and the lawyers should stop taking bribery. Stop taking small small money to compromise someone’s life, you have to follow your ethics,” 

Back to Bernice who had let the hospital again hours before Hover was released, she was still experiencing much pain, as she whined in pains under the bandage now placed over the sore around her arm and chest said in disappointment. 

“I am highly disappointed right now that he is released, because it is unfair to me, for Hover to burn someone else’s child and boast without remorse that the law is nothing because he and president Weah can eat at the same table. This shows that the government is a mess and. Right now I am feeling pains in my chest and do not know the effect as to if I will get skin cancer because I am feeling severe pains all parts of my body. He who said he never had money for my treatment, said when he was arrested, we should go to court because he was going to spend any money for his lawyer Jomah Jallah to free him” she said.

Now, as it is, Bernice is homeless, while struggling to get treatment provided by her sister who is not working, Therefore, the family is launching an SOS call to women’s group, International and local Ngo’s and kind-hearted individuals to please help Bernice get treatment in any way and a place to lay her head for the time being, as they seek justice. Interested people or group wanting can contact cell numbers: 0886485952, 0770176870