|JEERS FOR ACCUSED CHILD KILLER |
AZARD ALI Saturday, January 7 2017
MARICIA McLean, a mother of two, was jeered by a large crowd as she made her way yesterday into the San Fernando Magistrates Court to answer a charge of murdering her fouryear- old stepdaughter Jenice Figaro.
Little Jenice sustained injuries to her head and stomach at her home in Morocoy Extension Road, Whiteland on November 24. The child was rushed to San Fernando General Hospital where she died.
An autopsy on the victim, a student of the Whiteland Early Childhood Learning Centre revealed death was due to blunt force trauma and was ruled a homicide.
Female police officers handcuffed McLean and escorted her from the San Fernando Police Station to the nearby courthouse.
The woman, however, was subjected to verbal abuse by onlookers.
McClean, who has two children aged five and eight, stood before Senior Magistrate Nanette Forde-John who read the charge to her that on November 24, at Corosal Road, Gasparillo, she murdered Jenice Figaro. As the charge is a capital offence, the accused was not called upon to plead. Attorney Subhas Panday announced that he, together with attorneys Frank Gittens and Chanthal Paul would be representing McClean.
Panday said there was widespread social media publicity on his client in relation to the alleged incident and expressed concern about pre-trial publicity and how it would affect McClean’s incarceration at the Women’s Prison in Golden Grove, Arouca. Magistrate Forde-John advised Panday that he can send a letter to the Commissioner of Prisons explaining his concerns and request intervention in ensuring Mc- Clean’s stay in prison is safe.
Panday said that he is willing to start the case at the earliest possible time and would like disclosure from the police. Court prosecutor Ramnath Phillip said a file would be prepared and sent to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for a State attorney to be appointed to prosecute McLean. The magistrate then remanded McClean into custody and adjourned the matter to February 23.
Several of the accused woman’s relatives were present in court for the hearing and followed behind her while police officers escorted a handcuffed McClean out of the court. As she stepped onto the pavement to be taken back to a prisoners’ holding bay at the nearby High Court to await transport to prison, onlookers resumed their jeers and taunts. “Smile for the media. Look at you,” a man shouted as the accused woman’s relatives placed a white piece of cloth over her head.
McLean raised her hands to try and shield her face from media photographers causing the piece of cloth to fall from her head.
A stout policewoman held on to the handcuffs which secured McLean’s hands as they walked towards the High Court’s holding bay. Outside the courthouse, attorney Panday reiterated his concern for his client’s safety in prison and said he would immediately write the Prisons Commissioner.