Charged for murdering granny
By AZARD ALI Tuesday, March 5 2013
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MURDER ACCUSED: Ramchan Doodlal, 44, is taken into the San Fernando Magistrates' Court to answer a charge of murdering Phillipine grandmother, Carmen ...
A MAGISTRATE yesterday turned down a request for the murder accused charged with the February 21 strangulation of Phillipine grandmother Carmen Ramjattan, to be sent to St Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital for psychiatric evaluation.
Deputy Chief Magistrate Mark Wellington said in the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court that at the psychiatric hospital in Port-of-Spain, murder accused persons can simply walk away.
Yesterday, Ramchan Doodlal, 44, of Wells Road, Hermitage, near San Fernando, appeared before Wellington, charged with February 21 murder of Ramjattan.
Ramjattan, 70, was found dead at her home in Sunkist Drive, where she lived alone. An autopsy revealed that she was strangled. The charging of Doodlal stemmed from police investigations which revealed that the grandmother’s body was discovered slumped over her bathroom with both hands and feet tied with ropes and her mouth covered with duct tape.
Yesterday, Doodlal, who had been in custody since his arrest last week, stood in the dock while Wellington read the charge to him, that on February 21, he murdered Ramjattan.
He was not called upon to plead. Attorney Jason Jackson who represented Doodlal, told Wellington that based on a cursory observation of the accused, it would be prudent to have the accused evaluated at St Ann’s. But Wellington asked, “Why? What’s wrong with him....how do you know that.”
Jackson replied, “Your Worship, based on my experience, I can say that it is a justifiable request to have the accused be sent for a psychiatric evaluation.”
But Wellington, disagreeing with the request on basis of the attorney’s cursory observation, said, “I’m afraid to send him there, don’t you know that next thing, they can’t find him. It has happened...doctors let them go.”
But pressing on with his request, Jackson said that the accused seemed to constantly be gazing in the air, but the magistrate replied that such a behaviour, did not necessarily indicate that Doodlal was mentally unstable.
The deputy chief magistrate postponed the case to Friday.