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CHARGE GRANDPA

By VASHTEE ACHIBAR Saturday, May 17 2014

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DEPUTY Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Joan Honore Paul yesterday instructed police to formally charge Winston Cudjoe with manslaughter in the death of his grandson Jaedon Cudjoe, 17 months, who was found dead on Tuesday after being left locked in Cudjoe’s car for over nine hours.

As news of the DPP’s order to charge the 56-year-old man reached the Cudjoe household in Penal last night, screams could be heard, as relatives — already traumatised over baby Jaedon’s tragic death — now have to deal with his grandfather being hauled to court next Monday to answer for his death. Contacted for comment, DPP Roger Gaspard SC last night told Newsday that Deputy DPP (South) Joan Honore Paul gave instructions late yesterday evening to investigators at Penal CID to lay a charge of manslaughter against 56-year-old Cudjoe.

This means baby Jaedon’s grandfather will remain in police custody this weekend and make an appearance on Monday before a Siparia magistrate on a charge of manslaughter.

Baby Jaedon’s funeral is scheduled to begin at 1 pm today at his Penal Rock Road home. His body will then be taken to the St Dominic’s RC Church in Penal following which he will be laid to rest. Police sources last night said arrangements are being made to allow the grieving grandfather to attend the funeral service for his grandchild. Baby Jaedon was discovered dead in his grandfather’s car on Tuesday afternoon in the car park at Petrotrin’s Clarke Road, Penal compound. Nine hours earlier, at about 7 am, Cudjoe is said to have locked the car and went to work with the child in the back seat.

Relatives said Cudjoe was supposed to drop off the child at a babysitter on his way to work but forgot to do so and went to work. An autopsy conducted by Forensic Pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov at the Forensic Science Centre, St James on Wednesday, revealed that baby Jaedon died as a result of severe dehydration as a result of being locked in a car with no ventilation and extreme heat.

Grandfather Cudjoe has been in police custody since the discovery of baby Jaedon’s body. A day after baby Jaedon’s death, his grieving mother Masika Wharwood described his grandfather as a most loving and wonderful person who would do anything for his grandchildren.

She said she wanted the world to know that Cudjoe’s grandchildren were his life and that he has not stopped mourning for baby Jaedon since the tragedy. She said that on Tuesday morning, her father-in-law took baby Jaedon to drop him off at his (the baby) aunt’s home on his way to work at Petrotrin in Penal, as he was accustomed doing for the past few months.

He was was accompanied by the toddler’s grandmother whom he dropped off first. She said that on his way to work, Cudjoe encountered a traffic jam and took another route. She said that in taking this detour, Cudjoe forgot that he had to drop off Jaedon.

To add to this, Wharwood said, while on his way to work Cudjoe got a cellphone call that he was promoted to supervisor at his work in Petrotrin and that he should go to Petrotrin’s Santa Flora office to collect the promotion letter.

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