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No bail for labourer on 3 rape charges

By AZARD ALI Tuesday, December 17 2013

click on pic to zoom in
RAPE ACCUSED: Amid Dhaniram, 30, of  Gran Couva, is  escorted on the compound of  the Couva Magistrates' Court for his appearance before a magistrate ...
RAPE ACCUSED: Amid Dhaniram, 30, of Gran Couva, is escorted on the compound of the Couva Magistrates' Court for his appearance before a magistrate ...

A labourer has been denied bail after appearing before a magistrate in Couva charged with the rape of three girls, two of whom were under the age of 14.

Amit Dhaniram, 30, of Gran Couva, appeared on the charges before Senior Magistrate Lucina Cardenas-Ragoonanan in the Couva Magistratesí Court yesterday, following his arrest, at his home, by police officers of the Gran Couva Police Station, on Saturday.

On Sunday afternoon, Dhaniram was taken to the Couva Police Station for his appearance in court.

At about 11 am, Dhaniram was driven in a police vehicle from the Couva Police Station then escorted to the courthouse where he was taken into the dock.

When his name was called, Dhaniram stood before Cardenas-Ragoonanan who read the charges that between September 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012, he had sex with a girl who was under the age of 14. At the time, the girl was 11 years old. She is now 13. The second charge alleged that between September 1, 2011 and February 17, 2012, Dhaniram had sex with another girl who was under the age of 14. The second girl was 13 then, and is now 14.

The magistrate then read the third charge that between July 18, 2011 and November 30, 2013, Dhaniram had sex with a girl above the age of 14 but without consent. The girl, who turned 18 in July, was 16 years old at the time of the alleged rape.

The charges were laid by WPC Alicia Soodeen of the Gran Couva Police Station.

Cardenas-Ragoonanan told Dhaniram all the charges against him were laid indictably and that meant he would not be called upon to enter a plea. A preliminary inquiry would be held after a State attorney is appointed to prosecute the cases.

Police prosecutor, Sgt Peter Francis, told the magistrate the police objected to bail because a trace needed to be conducted to determine if Dhaniram has a criminal record. Attorney Anisah Mohammed, who told the court she represented Dhaniram, asked for bail. Cardenas-Ragoonanan told the attorney the court was concerned that Dhaniram lived in close proximity to the alleged victims, and this would be a factor in grating bail. Mohammed said she had been given an undertaking that if bail is granted, the accused would stay by a relative in La Romaine.

However, Francis said the computer system on criminal records of persons charge was not functioning and as a result, the prosecution wanted Dhaniram remanded for tracing.

Cardenas-Ragoonanan told Dhaniram bail would not be granted pending an investigation into if he had a criminal record. The magistrate remanded him to reappear on January 13.

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