Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 16th 2017 Contents news A11
Friday, June 16, 2017 guardian.co.tt
RADHICA DE SILVA
The shooting deaths of
four mentally ill people by
police over the past three
months have disturbed Ro-
man Catholic parish priest
Fr Martin Sirju.
Delivering his Corpus
Christi homily at Our Lady of
Perpetual Help RC Church in
San Fernando yesterday, Sir-
ju called on National Security
Minister Edmund Dillon and
acting Police Commissioner
Stephen Williams to ensure
that mentally ill people get
the respect and consideration
Sirju, who is also the Vicar
for the Southern Vicariate,
said he was disturbed by the
"I am quite disturbed by
the recent shooting deaths
of mentally ill people. I think
that kind of attitude comes
from a mindset. We have
to change our way of doing
things and make sure that
when it comes to mentally ill
people in society, we must ex-
ercise the protection, caution
Noting that the police
had an obligation to protect
themselves in line of duty,
Sirju said even though this is
so, mentally ill people
deserved greater re-
spect as they suf-
fer through too
Police and Minister of
National Security should take
this message to heart because
it is a message of many con-
cerned people of T&T."
Urging parishioners to be
mindful of the need to take
care of the vulnerable of the
society, Sirju said too often
mentally ill people are stig-
"Our mentally ill friends
are not nobodies. We cannot
reduce them to being poor,
loony, ditzy, mad, crazy and
runoff. The language has to
change. If we are people who
receive Jesus, we must learn to
take better care of our mental-
ly ill people," Sirju said.
He added that other vulner-
able groups like the homeless
and elderly must also be given
care and respect.
"We often think that the
first thing we do is love peo-
ple but I don't think so. The
first thing we have to do is
respect people. If we don't
respect people including the
mentally ill, we will treat them
like animals," Sirju added.
He called on citizens to take
care of others.
"Jesus is saying I trust you
to take care of your brothers
in the world---the poor, sick,
elderly, homeless, children.
When we go out in world we
have to put vulnerable people
at the centre of the world,
people that society prefers to
keep on the fringes," Sirju said.
Following the service, pa-
rishioners engaged in a pro-
cession through the streets
before congregating at the
Over the past three months,
four mentally ill men---Paul
Marchan, Raymond Joseph,
Daniel Paul and Edison
Thompson- have been shot
dead by police.
Marchan, 30, was shot dead
by officers of the Western Di-
vision Task Force on March 16,
after he reportedly attacked
a family member and tried
to stab two police officers at
Richplain, Diego Martin.
Joseph, a retired soldier,
was shot dead on April 1 while
Daniel Paul, 23, was killed for
throwing stones on June 5.
Thompson, 45, the latest
victim, was shot dead for at-
tacking a soldier with a ham-
mer. Following the incidents,
the police service was criti-
cised for the way in which the
Roman Catholic parish priest Father Martin Sirju greets a
parishioner during yesterday's Corpus Christi mass at Our
Lady of Perpetual Help RC Church in San Fernando.
PHOTO: TONY HOWELL
National Flour Mills (NFM) Feed Mills
Superintendent Mc Allister Charles, 46,
was described yesterday as not only a
dynamic leader but a ferocious wor-
Delivering the eulogy at his funeral ser-
vice, Charles' wife, Deborah said her hus-
band spoke no negative words in any situ-
ation that he was faced with.
The funeral service was held at Miracle
Ministries Christ Castle International in
"He was a good husband who protected
me at all cost. He was the perfect gentleman.
He was also playfully and lovingly provoking
that no one would have gotten vex with him,"
"Whenever his subordinates called him
on the phone he instantly gave solutions to
problems at the Feed Mill Plant," she added.
Charles was a senior minister and served,
alongside with his wife, as a Discipleship
Leader where he took up the role as mentor
to new converts. Charles' pastor Dr Win-
ston Cuffie described Charles as a man of
integrity and a man of faith. Cuffie pastored
him for just over 25 years.
A representative from the NFM, Yvette
Eastman described Charles as one who
"shared his life with us and which reflect-
ed in his work."
"He used his faith to navigate the chal-
lenges of work. We mourn his passing as
he was a brother, coworker and a man of
dignity," Eastman added.
She extended condolences to the bereaved
family on behalf of NFM's Board of Director's
Charles, 46, died at 3 pm on Sunday, while
warded at the St Clair Private Hospital.
Charles worked at NFM for the past 25 years.
It was reported that at about 1 pm last
week Thursday Charles fell from a height
and sustained injuries to his head, shoulder
He was taken to the private hospital where
he underwent emergency surgery and sub-
sequently warded in an unconscious state.
NFM's release issued on Monday said that
Charles fell on the southern staircase of the
Feed Mill facility.
An autopsy which was done at the Port-
of-Spain mortuary on Monday revealed that
Charles died from aspiration pneumonia
(results from inhalation of stomach
contents or secretions of the oro-
pharynx, leading to lower respira-
tory tract infection), cardiogenic
shock (a condition in which
your heart suddenly can't
pump enough blood to meet
your body's needs), status
post exploratory laparotomy
(a surgical operation where
the abdomen is opened and
the abdominal organs examined
for injury or disease) and alleged
fall first degree heart block scle-
roderma (essentially, a conduc-
tion defect in the heart caused by
an autoimmune connective tissue
Investigators of the Occupational,
Safety and Health (OSH) Agency have
since launched an investigation into the
Burial took place at the St Mary's Public
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