Cheryl was forced

The documents, obtained by Newsday, paint a clear picture of Miller resisting being taken from her desk at the 21 st floor of Tower D at Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain. The documents, sworn to by clerk Dennison Henry; acting assistant accountant Reynold Hinds, and accountant Pamela Ramdial-Lachman, were all filed in support of Miller’s successful application to the High Court for release from St Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital.

The documents further confirm that Minister of Gender, Youth and Child Development Verna St Rose-Greaves had a conversation with Miller just before she was taken away. Also, the evidence suggests that the events of March 21 came against the backdrop of a visit by an Auditor from the Auditor General’s department. Miller is an acting accountant assistant. Henry deposes that Miller was held by the arm and taken away “forcibly”.

“She was unwilling and being dragged,” she says.

Hinds described how Miller was removed. “I heard Cheryl Miller quietly saying ‘What have I done, why are you embarrassing me?’” he says. “I stood up in my cubicle and I observed a woman holding her by the arm and speaking to her very softly in her ear. There was a man standing on the other side of Cheryl. I believe that another gentleman in a light coloured top came at that point and they all held on to her, held up her arms and led her away. She was quietly protesting while being taken away.”

Of the same moment, Ramdial-Latchman says in her affidavit, “They talked to her for what seemed to be about a ten-minute period. I stood up when I realised that they were taking her away to the St Ann’s Mental Hospital. I thought that after conversing with her they would have left her alone. Two of the persons dressed in white, stood on both sides of her, holding on to her, and another was to the back of her. She seemed to be in shock.”

Of Miller’s character, Ramdial-Latchman said, “My impression of Cheryl is that she is a bit secluded and withdrawn but certainly not abnormal or mentally ill. When I approach her to speak to her, she interacts normally with me. She is pleasant when spoken to and smiles in response to greetings. As her senior officer, I can also attest to the fact that she functions well at the job.”

Of Miller, Hinds vouched, “My impression of Cheryl Miller is that she is an introverted and non-talkative individual. I would emphatically say that I do not believe that she is a threat to me or any of the other workers. I do not know her to be a mentally ill individual. Whenever I give her a compliment, she smiles. When I address her, she usually responds. She takes instructions well and she would let me know if I have made any errors with respect to my work.” Henry said Miller was, earlier before being taken away, speaking “in a louder tone than usual” complaining. The minister intervened.

“The Minister was asking who was against you?” she says. Of this conversation, Ramdial-Latchman re-marks, “the Minister of Gender, Youth and Child Development, Verna St Rose-Greaves, arrived and spoke to Cheryl quietly. I couldn’t hear what the Minister said to her but she seemed satisfied that she got a hearing and she became quiet.” She says Miller was talking “at a normal pitch”.

“I saw Cheryl sitting at her cubicle and heard her talking at a normal pitch and tone. I overheard her making statements to the effect that people at the office were bad talking her, treating her unfairly and other similar statements,” Ramdial-Latchman says. “According to my observations of Cheryl, she appeared to be merely venting and there didn’t seem to me to be any anger.”

In a press release issued on Thursday, the Association of Psychiatrists said, “The suggestion that the employee was forcibly removed from her work situation is entirely wrong and further compounded by the assertion in some media that the patient was not assessed for mental illness.”

In support of the Miller’s successful court action, attorney Margaret Hinds said Miller was removed “without cause and due certificate from a medical practitioner.” (SEE PAGE 9A)


"Cheryl was forced"

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