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Suspects packed, ready to flee

By Cecily Asson Friday, October 23 2015

THEY had packed their bags and were ready to flee the country when police came calling .

This was the scenario facing officers when they stormed a house in Vistabella on Wednesday evening and arrested a man and his common-law wife who are the prime suspects in the abuse of a two-year-old child, a video of which was uploaded to the web and has since gone viral .

The 32-year-old man and his Jamaican born common-law wife, 21, of Hutton Street in St Joseph were detained and up to last night were being interrogated at the San Fernando Criminal Investigation Department (CID). They were expected to be transferred to the Child Protection Unit of the Northern Division for further questioning .

It is believed that when they were nabbed, they were preparing to skip the country, following the outrage from members of the public who had viewed the viral video in which an adult male was seen physically abusing a toddler dressed only in a disposable diaper .

The child refused to ingest a white substance in a bottle (later identified as milk) which he was holding to her mouth. He clouted the child twice causing her to fall to the floor. On one occasion he jerked her to her feet by pulling violently on her hair .

According to a police report at about 1.25 pm yesterday, officers stormed a house at Manjack Street in Vistabella which they had under surveillance for several hours after reports were made that a male and female fitting the description of the wanted couple could be hiding in the house .

According to a police report, a party of officers led by Insp Don Gajadhar and including PCs Bacchus, Harrypersad, Snaggs, Rampersad and Ali, acting on information went to a two-storey apartment building at Manjack Street .

The report stated that a man and woman fitting the description were spotted exiting an outer door of the room of an apartment located on the second floor of the building. Police say the couple are facing charges related to cruelty as provided for under the new Children’s Authority Act. Yesterday, Head of the Southern and Central Divisions ACP Cecil Santana commended his officers for what he said was, “a brilliant piece of work.” “I want to highly commend the officers under Insp Don Gajadhar for the brilliant piece of work they did in the arrest of the couple .

They kept the house under surveillance for several hours during the morning period, and we got the results we wanted,” ACP Santana said .

A release yesterday from the Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago stated, “Every child has the inherent right to life, survival and development”. With this in mind and in adherence with the Commissioner of Police 2014- 2016 Strategic Plan, Nine Child Protection Units were established in all policing divisions .

The Role and Function of the Child Protection Unit is to investigate matters of recent sexual offenses/abuse, physical abuse, abandonment/neglect and ill treatment of children. The Child Protection Unit is mandated through the Children’s Authority Act No .

46.10 to engage in a collaborative relationship to ensure the care and protection of the nation’s children.



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