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JACOB'S FATHER CHARGED

By ALEXANDER BRUZUAL Wednesday, December 4 2013

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ALLAN THOMAS kept his head bowed yesterday as he stood before a Tunapuna magistrate to answer to two criminal charges namely, murdering his own son, one-year-old Jacob Monroe and attempting to take his (Thomas’) own life.

It was a rather low-keyed affair — Thomas’ appearance in court — for his alleged role in a crime i.e the murder of baby Jacob, which shook the nation within the past month. The 27-year-old was brought to the court handcuffed, escorted by two policemen, with his left wrist wrapped in bandage.

At about eight-thirty, yesterday morning, Thomas was taken from the Tunapuna Police Station and placed into a police vehicle which drove him to the nearby Tunapuna Magistrates’ Court. As he was brought out, the 27-year-old man made no attempt to hide his face from media personnel gathered outside the court and some of whom arrived as early as 7 am.

At the court, Thomas was processed and then brought before Senior Magistrate Cheryl Ann-Blake charged for the murder of his one-year-old son Jacob Monroe. Thomas of Santa Marita Trace in Maracas/St Joseph, was also charged for attempting to take his own life.

As he stood in the court before Blake, several of Thomas’ relatives sat quietly in the public benches of the court as they listened as the charges were read out.

After the charges were read, Thomas was not called upon to enter a plea of ‘guilty’ or ‘not-guilty’ to both charges which were laid indictably, meaning he will have to face trial before a Judge and Jury if the magistrate deems the evidence against Thomas sufficient to warrant such a trial. Defence attorney Fareed Ali, who represented Thomas, made a formal request for disclosure in the matter. Ali asked to be provided with all relevant evidential materials including police station diary extracts, certificates of analysis, a copy of the autopsy report on baby Jacob and statements from various witnesses, which the prosecution intends to rely on.

Ali also made a formal request to the court for his client to be remanded to the St Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital for psychiatric evaluation. He argued, since his client was charged for attempted suicide, it was possible his (Thomas’) stay in prison could facilitate him to cause further injury to himself.

Therefore, in the interest of his client’s safety, the attorney asked that the court send Thomas for psychiatric evaluation, to determine if he is indeed a threat to himself.

While his attorney was making the application for Thomas to be remanded to St Ann’s, Thomas kept his head bowed. Ali’s request was denied by Blake after further deliberations. However, Blake allowed a short adjournment to facilitate a medical report on the accused man, to be brought to court, to further deliberate on the issue. The matter was then adjourned to Friday.

Little Jacob Monroe’s body was found inside a cesspit at the back of his home on November 20. A man later told police armed men had gone to that house on November 19 and kidnapped the child.

The man also claimed that the intruders forced him (the man) to drink kerosene and cut his wrist. During a search of the area around the house, police came across the discovery of little Jacob’s body in the cesspit.

An autopsy revealed the child died from blunt force trauma and several of his organs had been crushed by a severe beating.

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