NO CHARGE DPP instructs mother, daughter to be released
A Penal mother and her teenage daughter, detained in connection with the shooting death of prison officer Robert Seecharan last Wednesday, were reunited yesterday as the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) ordered that no charges would be laid against them.
The 16-year-old exited the Southern Homicide Bureau at Coffee Street, San Fernando, and walked into the arms of her waiting mother. Sherry Ann Seecharan, who was detained at Penal Police Station since the shooting on Wednesday evening.
The Express learned that deputy DPP Joan Honore-Paul gave instructions to release the mother and daughter at 2 p.m. yesterday. The daughter, holding a pillow in her arms, was greeted by her mother and other relatives at 5 p.m.
The mother and daughter, accompanied by attorney Gerald Ramdeen, held a press conference at Freedom House law chambers in San Fernando.
Seecharan told a story of five years of violence at the hands of her husband.
In a statement submitted to the Office of the DPP, Seecharan said the beatings began one year after she moved in with her husband. Describing him as short-tempered, Seecharan said her husband was once kind and loving to her and her four children.
Seecharan said she was kicked off a 20-foot hill, beaten until she bled and there were endless threats to end her life with the firearm he had secured from his employers.
The beatings, she said, were hidden from her four children—offspring from a previous marriage.
But last Wednesday, following a fun day at Quinam Beach, her daughters got a first-hand experience of the monster she lived with.
The daughter said it was nothing she ever expected. And she just wanted to save her mother’s life.
“He came to the car and started talking and I asked when we going home. He said he was not my father and replied that I knew that. He just come and pull me out and started slapping me and pushing me on a fence. My mom leave the car and come and he started beating her and slamming her head and she fell to the ground. I didn’t know what to do. My sister was holding him and he say he want to beat me. It was so bad that all I was thinking about was to save my mom,” she said.
The daughter said she grabbed Seecharan’s service firearm, but he took it away and pointed it at her mother.
“I started to fight with him and I pull it away and that was when I pull the trigger,” she said.
Sherry Ann Seecharan said she contacted the police and when officers arrived she confessed to the shooting.
“I said I shoot Seecharan. I said he is a prison officer and he has a gun and I shoot him. I leave and walk out and they take me to the Penal police station where I lied again. I was praying that the police don’t hold my daughters. I didn’t want my child to end up like this. My child known what I went through with him,” she said.
Seecharan thanked her attorneys and relatives for standing by her during her time in police custody.
“I will never forget this. I am back with my family again,” she said.
Seecharan even had some advice for women in violent relationships.
“I urge all women—don’t be coward like me and take violence and end up in this situation. Every day it has murders, my abuse was not easy. I lost my husband, but I would have lost my children and my life. My husband was loving to me and my children, but at times he was a monster. Look for help. I was a coward,” she said.
Seecharan said her husband’s firearm was always loaded and she feared for her life.
Lawyer: Wake-up call for all women
It was a case of a child risking her life to save her mother. And the criminal justice system has won.
That was how attorney Gerald Ramdeen described a decision by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to set free a mother and her teenage daughter detained in the shooting death of prison officer Robert Seecharan.
Ramdeen said the incident should be a “wake-up” call to all women in violent relationships. He said victims should know that they can walk away because the situation worsens.
“Today is a day if anyone has won, the criminal justice system has won today. The criminal justice system has worked today and allowed these two women to get back their liberty and for that we are very thankful. All of us come down on criminal justice system. We criticise all parties in the criminal justice system, but today we can say that the criminal justice system has worked. The law has worked, the law has been compassionate today and the law has allowed these two people their freedom today,” he said.
Ramdeen said the DPP gave instructions that no one is to be charged in the matter. He said both Seecharan and her two daughters were incarcerated since Wednesday when this incident took place.
“They were questioned and a file was prepared and submitted to the DPP, Miss Honore-Paul, yesterday afternoon. Today is a day when we can pay tribute to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. I know for a fact that Miss Honore-Paul got the file in this matter only last night by the complainant and dutifully she performed her duties as deputy DPP and this afternoon she gave instructions that no charges are to be laid in this matter,” he said.
Use the situation as example
Ramdeen said although the prison officer’s death was unfortunate, the incident could have been worse.
“We live in a society, we see examples over and over of women who find themselves in situations where they are battered and abused by persons they live with and the conclusion is that they lose their lives. We are lucky today to have these two women alive even though someone has lost their life. A day where everyone has lost—Miss Seecharan has lost her husband. We can use this situation as an example for people to learn, don’t allow yourselves to remain in a situation where at the end someone loses their life,” he said.
Ramdeen also paid tribute to Inspector Sean Dhilpaul and officers at the Southern Homicide Bureau.
Subject of threats
Ramdeen said the violence against Seecharan was a continuation of the violence perpetrated on her husband’s job. He said Robert Seecharan was issued a firearm following threats from prisoners.
But Ramdeen noted that the threats were allegedly being made by prisoners who had suffered violent attacks by Seecharan’s hands.
“As far as my instructions are, he was issued a firearm because he was the subject of threats by persons who had suffered at his hands. He would tell his wife what he did so…what happened at home was a continuation. It raised serious issues which is prison officers who are clamouring to be given firearms, this is the end result. This situation is the end result of a prison officer being issued a firearm and where it can lead,” he said.
Sherry Ann Seecharan told a story of how her husband would return home from work with his clothing covered in blood. She said her husband said he would beat the prisoners until they bled.
From The Trinidad Express 8/03/15
Mahogany Coconut Comment:
The MCG is in total agreement with this decision. We will continue to highlight matters pertaining to the abuse of our women , children and the elderly in all forms. We will also continue to highlight cases where our men and boys suffer any form of abuse. Abuse is growing throughout the region and calls for stronger legislation and a more swift response to the problem , continue to fall on deaf ears.
We present and encourage progressive Caribbean views of Caribbean and world affairs.
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Hearing de National Anthem
I standing ramrod straight
I am a proud bajan
Some say poor great
At de Garrison Savannah
Back in nineteen sixty-six
See de playing field
In a such a muddy fix
Never see so much bajans
In muh entire life
All o’ dem wid one purpose
Independence not strife
There in dey numbers
Not caring ‘bout de mud
Packing in de Garrison
As many as dey could
Some walked for miles
Some come by donkey cart
A few come by motorcar
All bajans to de heart
For this very night
They had eagerly planned
Every one of them
Down to a single man
Was plenty activity
Then de moment come
We see Errol Barrow
What a great Barbadian son!
Standing like a soldier
Was a moment to brag
Down went de Union Jack
Up went de bajan flag
Since the late 1960’s, Africa has
been a rather quiet political force in the Caribbean. When the then Organization
of African Unity was an active political entity and the Caribbean states were
embarking on Independence, progressive politicians were enamored with great
African leaders such Julius Nyerere of Tanzania and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana. Our thoughts have swung to Africa
in recent weeks because of the visits of the Vice President of America Joe
Biden and China's President, Xi Linping to the region. Of course, Biden would
have reminded the Caribbean leaders of the “great” friendship the Caribbean and
America enjoy and Xi Linping would have promised greater aid to the region,
promising assistance with trade and underwriting some social projects. We do not wish to pour cold water
on either China’s or America’s presence in the Caribbean. They are two of the
most powerful and rich countries in the world and we cannot ignore that fact. Furthermore,
Chinese products have been importe…