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Addict well on road to recovery

By AZARD ALI Saturday, February 1 2014

click on pic to zoom in
I AM SAVED: Andrea Muraldo, seen in this file photo leaving court with her baby son, appears a saved woman after attending rehabilitation sessions to ...
I AM SAVED: Andrea Muraldo, seen in this file photo leaving court with her baby son, appears a saved woman after attending rehabilitation sessions to ...

ANDREA MURALDO is living proof the judicial system is also about rehabilitation and curing offenders. Muraldo, 27, of La Romaine was told yesterday by a magistrate that her cocaine possession case will come to an end and she would no longer have to attend the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court with her two-month-old baby.

The woman thanked Magistrate Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds for choosing not to jail or fine her. “And thank you...you motivated me to go,” Muraldo said, in reference to the court’s instruction that she attend drug rehabilitation counselling sessions at Presentation College as a form of suspended sentence.

It was obvious to the court when Muraldo pleaded guilty to possession of a rock of cocaine at Skinner’s Park in March last year, she was addicted to the substance. She admitted guilt and opted instead of a sentence, to attend drug treatment sessions. Ramsumair-Hinds had Muraldo return to court regularly to keep tabs on her attendance and the progress of rehabilitation. With each appearance in court, Muraldo looked more in control of herself, more composed and more articulate.

Yesterday, in the Fourth Court instead of carrying her baby wrapped in a blanket, Muraldo stood before Ramsumair-Hinds with young Christopher in a strap on baby pouch.

Muraldo produced the registration document for the baby, said she had accepted the assistance given to her by persons who responded to her plight and told Ramsumair-Hinds that she has not missed a session of counselling.

The magistrate, in congratulating Muraldo, told her that she (Muraldo) looked a picture of freshness, stood more composed and relaxed and appears to be a woman ready to face challenges of the world.

Ramsumair-Hinds advised Muraldo yesterday to seek shelter at Serenity Place in Cochrane Village, Point Fortin, a home for women seeking shelter and rehabilitation. “I strongly advised that you attend Serenity Place. Physically, you are looking different. You’re standing taller. You should find shelter at Serenity Place. Soon, you will not have to come back to court. In fact, the next adjourned date might be your last. Keep attending the sessions. It is going to be challenging but you have to keep focus,” Ramsumair-Hinds advised.

Muraldo replied to the magistrate, “Thanks to you...you motivated me to go.”

Saying that she was grateful for Muraldo’s expression of gratitude to the court, Ramsumair-Hinds said on the next court date (February 29), the court will make a final assessment of her recovery and if she is ready to have the charge dropped.

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