|SENT TO ST ANN'S |
By ALEXANDER BRUZUAL Thursday, December 13 2012
SCORES of persons gathered outside the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court yesterday to catch a glimpse of the man held and later charged for biting his own flesh and blood — his five-day-old daughter named Jinayah.
Jermour Noel, 24, of Poinsettia Drive, Morvant, faced the wrath of several angry onlookers as he exited a van and made his way into the courthouse. He was flanked on either side by two policemen from Port-of-Spain CID.
Shortly before 10 am, Noel was brought to the Eighth Court, but was kept in the holding cell along with several murder accused, as he awaited his matter to be called. None of the other men inside the cell spoke to Noel. His attorney Vitti Furlonge-Kelly arrived a short while later.
As chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar began reading the charge, she was interrupted by an application made by Furlonge-Kelly.
“Your worship, before you proceed, if I may, I would like to formally note that I will be making an application for my client to undergo a psychiatric evaluation and the police have similar representation and this can be confirmed by the complainant in the matter,” Furlonge-Kelly explained.
However, court prosecutor Acting Inspector Ricky Lochan told the chief magistrate that the complainant, Cpl Roopnarine Sankar, was not in the precincts of the court at the time. The matter was then stood down for 20 minutes, until Cpl Sankar arrived in court.
Ayers-Caesar then read the charge. “It is alleged that on December 9, at Smith Trace, Calvary Hill in East Dry River, you did wound with intent to cause grievous bodily harm to a child of unknown name. The charge is laid indictably and you are not called upon to plead,” Ayers-Caesar said.
Furlonge-Kelly reiterated his application saying the police had a similar referral for a psychiatric evaluation in their possession, made by a doctor at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital. He also asked that the court order a blood test on his client, saying he believes the results could have a profound impact on the case.
The attorney also made a formal application for disclosure, making special reference for the photographs of the bites which his client had allegedly inflicted on the victim. At this point, Ag Inspector Lochan informed the court that the police would be unable to furnish the attorney with his requests for disclosure as the matter is before the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for a State Prosecutor to oversee the case.
Although Furlonge-Kelly made no application for bail, Ag Insp Lochan told the court that he would be objecting to any consideration of bail due to the seriousness of the offence and the fact that the victim is still warded at the Wendy Fitzwilliams Paediatric Hospital in Mt Hope.
Ayers-Caesar then ordered Noel be remanded to the St Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital, to undergo psychiatric observation. However, she emphasised to policemen in court that Noel is to be kept in a secure area of the hospital. The matter was then adjourned to December 27.
Noel was taken downstairs to the courthouse’s basement prisoners’ cells and was expected to be kept there until the evening when transportation arrived for remanded prisoners. However, police sources said due to certain “interactions” Noel had — shortly after leaving the courtroom — with other prisoners in the cells, a decision was taken to remove him immediately from the courthouse and straight to St Ann’s.
Noel, who arrived at the courthouse in the morning looking non the worse for wear, arrived at St Ann’s with clear bruises around his lips.
Following the alleged attack on baby Jinayah, in which her left cheek was bitten off and her right leg was also bitten, a team of investigators led by Acting ASP Ajith Persad and including Cpl Sankar, visited the scene and collected statements from persons at the baby’s home. Several relatives were also interviewed and gave statements to police.
Under section 12 of the Offences Against The Person Act, Chapter 11:08, it states: “Any person who unlawfully and maliciously by any means whatsoever, wounds or causes any grievous bodily harm to any person....is liable to imprisonment for fifteen years (upon conviction).” (SEE PAGE 13A)