|Panday: Social media has tried accused child killer |
Cecily Asson Sunday, January 8 2017
Shortly after leaving the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court on Friday, attorney Subash Panday had his office immediately contact the office of Commissioner of Prisons Sterling Stewart asking them ensure the safety of his client Maricia Mc- Lean who had appeared before Senior Magistrate Nannette Forde-John charged with the murder of her four-year-old stepdaughter Jenice Figaro.
Panday said social media had already “tried” his client and felt that as a result of such pre-trial publicity, the mother of two “will get a raw deal in prison.” Speaking to Sunday Newsday yesterday Panday said: “They hurled ugly insults at her and called her all kinds of names as she left the court yesterday (Friday).
She has been tried already on social media.” He continued: “My duty is to her, to represent her to the best of my ability and whether an accused child murderer, as they are calling her, or white collar criminal, it is the same effort I will put in the matter.. I have been working with her for the past two weeks and in these circumstances, I feel when one balances the adverse effect of pre-trial publicity, my feeling is that we can withstand that and go for a trial as soon as possible. It is our hope that the Director of Public Prosecutions proceeds by way of paper committal that we can have the matter in the assizes as soon as possible.” Panday said he advised and expected that McClean’s relatives would have visited her yesterday at the Women’s Prison, Golden Grove Arouca.
“I know they will attempt to see her today (yesterday) and I am awaiting a report from them.
They will keep me updated,” he told Sunday Newsday.
On Friday, the court heard that on November 24, at Corosal Road, Whiteland Gasparillo, McLean did murder Jenice, a student of the Whiteland Early Childhood Learning Centre. She was not called upon to plead as the charge is a capital offence.
Before her subsequent arrest, investigators had been looking for her. McLean’s photograph was posted on TV6’s crime programme Beyond the Tape on the list of “Wanted” persons and also circulated on social media.
An autopsy on Jenice revealed that death was due to blunt force trauma and was ruled a homicide.
She had sustained injuries to her head and stomach and was rushed to the San Fernando General Hospital where she later died.
While being escorted to court on Friday, McLean was jeered at by a large crowd gathered outside the courthouse and she suffered the same fate when her matter was adjourned and she was being returned to the prisoners’ holding bay. The angry mob did not spare her with their insults. She will re-appear before a magistrate on February 23.