BRIEF LIFE OF ABUSE
By CECILY ASSON Wednesday, October 16 2013
A 34-YEAR-OLD heavy equipment operator yesterday confessed to police that he killed two-month-old Andre Mowlah at his (the baby) home in Erin Road, Cap-de-Ville on Sunday morning.
The man not only confessed to the murder but detailed to police how Andre suffered two months of torture at his hands. The man told shocked officers on four different occasions he had thrown the baby on the ground with the last time being the one which ended baby Andre’s brief yet tortured life.
On Sunday at about 8 am, the baby’s mother Diana Ramsaroop was involved in a heated argument with the man when in a fit of rage, he grabbed baby Andre from inside a crib where he was asleep, raised him high overhead and dashed the child to the floor.
A tearful Ramsaroop would later tell Newsday her baby son did not even cry out from the blow which shattered the back of his tiny skull and caused fatal injuries to his brain. The baby was rushed to the Point Fortin District Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
On noticing the injuries, doctors immediately alerted the police. The man, according to reports, at first claimed baby Andre slipped from his grasp as he (the suspect) held him. He later claimed that while holding the baby, his (the suspect) foot went through a rotted flooring board and he let go of the child who fell and hit his head on the floor.
However an autopsy report stated that the extensive cranial damage could not have been caused by a mere fall but was caused by a willful act of forcefully slamming baby Andre to the floor.
Police sources told Newsday yesterday at the Point Fortin Police Station, in an interview room, the man gave investigators an oral confession saying he was provoked into murdering the two-month-old after being accused of stealing tools from a house which is under repairs.
The man was told this was not the first time that baby Andre was thrown to the ground. Police sources told Newsday the man told investigators that earlier this month, during a heated argument with Ramsaroop, he stopped a truck which he was driving and took baby Andre and threw the child into some bushes at the side of the road. The man admitted to police that he often took out his rage on baby Andre. He then outlined two other occasions when in a rage, he had thrown baby Andre to the ground, as if he was a rag doll.
Speaking to Newsday yesterday, Andre’s grieving mother disclosed that after the man threw her son into the bushes, she told him she would report him to police. Both Ramsaroop (holding baby Andre) and the man went to the Cap-de-Ville Police Post where she sought an officer’s assistance.
“A policeman told me there was no one who could help me and that I had to go to the Point Fortin Police Station because there was an officer at that station who dealt with domestic violence issues and that person was there right now,” Ramsaroop told Newsday.
Ramsaroop said she and the man later met a relative in Point Fortin who warned the man that he could go to jail if he continued to abuse baby Andre. “Right there and then he promised he would never do it again so I did not bother to go to the Point Fortin Police Station.
“Looking back on that incident now, perhaps if that officer at Cap-de-Ville Police Post had taken my plea for help seriously, my son would be alive today. Who knows,” Ramsaroop said.
Told about the officer’s conduct in dealing with Ramsaroop at the Cap-de-Ville Police Post, a senior officer in South Western Division knocked the officer at the station for turning away Ramsaroop.
“That officer was wrong to send her away in the company of a man who had not only thrown a baby to the ground but also confessed to committing the very act. That man should have been charged one time. That baby might be alive today if that officer acted differently...acted in the manner he was supposed to,” the senior officer said as he promised an investigation.
Ramsaroop yesterday said she has not slept since her son’s murder.
“Only God knows why Andre came into this world for such a short time and why he had to suffer so badly in his two months of life,” she cried. Ramsaroop said whenever she closes her eyes to sleep she gets nightmares, as the memory of her son being dashed to the ground keeps replaying in her mind. “I am haunted by visions of my son’s death. He was killed before my eyes. I can’t sleep. I haven’t slept since Sunday,” she said.
Yesterday social workers from the National Family Services Unit of the Gender, Youth and Child Development Ministry visited and counselled Ramsaroop, who gave birth to Andre, 18 years after the birth of her first child, from another relationship.
“I was a teenager when I had my first child. Back then not everything was in place. But this time around, I was better prepared when I had Andre. Everything was in place. Baby Andre had everything.”
Investigators are expected to record further statements from witnesses following which the file will be sent to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for directions on how to proceed in terms of charges. Baby Andre will be laid to rest today at the Cap-de-Ville Public Cemetery following a funeral service at 2 pm. Sgt Solomon is continuing investigations.