Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 15th 2014 Contents A8
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, February 15, 2014
PARAGON SPORTS & CULTURAL CLUB
WEDNESDAY 26TH FEBRUARY 2014
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D.J. JERRY O'BRIEN
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DIL E NADAN ROY CAPE
A Ste Madeleine mother has been committed to
stand trial for the murder of her eight-year-old
Marcia Harper, 31, was charged after her son,
Demario Ragoonanan, was found hanging from a
curtain in a bedroom at their Fourth Street, Corinth
Settlement home on November 12, 2012.
An autopsy done at the Forensic Science Centre
in Port-of-Spain found that death was due to ligature
strangulation. Days after her son s death, Harper
appeared in the San Fernando Magistrates Court
charged with his murder.
On the request of her attorney, Owen Hinds Jnr,
Harper was sent to St Ann s Hospital for a psychiatric
evaluation. Last October, the State began paper com-
mital proceedings against her before magistrate Rae
Several witness statements tendered by the State
were from Harper s sister, her two brothers, police
complainant acting Cpl Ashton Beharry, PC Ram-
persad and Insp Norbie. Some witnesses were cross-
examined by the defence.
State attorneys Sarah De Silva and Ambay
Ramkhelawan, who prosecuted, closed their case on
Thursday. Roopchan said he was satisfied the pros-
ecution had led sufficient evidence for the mother
to be committed to stand trial. (SW)
The State needs another month before it can
initiate paper committal proceedings against a
policeman charged with human trafficking in
the first such case in T&T.
PC Valentine Eastman, 53, is before the San
Fernando Magistrates Court charged with ten
human trafficking charges against three Colom-
bian women. State prosecutor Trevor Jones told
Deputy Chief Magistrate Mark Wellington yes-
terday there were 26 witness statements in the
matter, of which 11 statements have so far been
sworn to and filed.
He assured by the end of the month all the
statements will be sworn, filed and served.
"Everything is in place. I just need the rest of
the month to get my house in order," said Jones.
Since the virtual complainants are foreign
nationals, he said, reasonable time would have
to be given in order to have them in court if the
defence requires them for cross-examination.
Additionally, he said, the services of an inter-
preter will be required because the women do
not speak English.
Eastman, who was last assigned to the Mon
Repos Police Station, is being represented by
attorney Subhas Panday. Eastman is the first
person in T&T to be charged under the Trafficking
in Persons Act of 2011.
He was arrested last April after the women
were detained by Immigration Department and
handed over to the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit,
which launched an investigation into allegations
The charges, laid by PC Ramlogan, alleged
that Eastman brought and received the women
into the country and harboured them for the
purpose of prostitution and exploration.
Eastman is on $350,000 bail and has to report
to the police station as a condition of his bail.
The matter was adjourned to April 11.
T&T joined the rest of the world on
Valentine s Day yesterday in observing the
One Billion Rising for Justice call, when
members of the InterClub of T&T gathered
at Nicolas Towers, Port-of-Spain, to speak
out against violence and other ills plaguing
One Billion Rising for Justice is the brain-
child of Eve Ensler, Tony award-winning
playwright (The Vagina Monologues) and
founder of V-Day, an organisation that seeks
to end violence against women and girls
Among those who delivered feature
addresses were head of the Victims and
Witness Support Unit of the Police Service
Margaret Sampson-Browne, chief executive
officer of the Adult Literacy Tutors Asso-
ciation (ALTA) Paula Lucie-Smith and Adri-
an Alexander, restorative justice advocate.
Sampson-Browne said it was imperative
that women, whether of class or societal
positions to raise their voices against violence
as this was a powerful weapon.
She said the unit which began in 2008
has 15 officers and was expected to double
These officers, however, were not mem-
bers of the Police Service but civilians who
hold first degrees in a social science including
social work or psychology.
"We provide services to all victims of
crime. We are not investigative but we
answer to the commissioner of police,"
Lucie-Smith, who touched on the issue
of illiteracy in schools, said in the four
years she spent as a teacher in the public
school system she witnessed students
reaching Form Five who were unable to
properly read and decipher home work.
"At that point I reached my tolerance
for injustice. Some were minor which was
the wrong colour footwear.
"The greatest injustice in our education
system is graduating students without
being able to read. We live in an age of
information and that information is writ-
ten...to access almost everything you fill
out a form. Readers rule the 21st century,"
She said after 20 years in adult literacy,
the consistent message which came from
adults who could not read was that they
felt "left out."
"They feel that they are always missing
out on something that everybody else is
getting. This is dangerous since social har-
mony relies upon all persons to feel they
are part of society not outside it," Lucie-
stand trial for
T&T joins world protest against violence
State needs more time
before moving forward
1st human trafficking case in T&T...
Lenny Kumar, a member of the T&T Sweet Tassa Group, gives tassa lessons to students of Coryal Secondary School, Cumuto,
during the school's visit to the Carnival Village, Queen's Park Savannah, on Thursday. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
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