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Two teens in court for Beetham maxi murder
Two teenagers aged 17 and 14 yesterday appeared in the Port-of-Spain Magistrates Court charged with murder, along with three other serious offences. The teens appeared around 1 pm before Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar in the Eighth Magistrate Court, St Vincent Street, charged with killing Kendell Thomas on a date unknown between December 10 and December 13.
The two are also charged with kidnapping Thomas on December 11, robbing his sister, Sheena Charles, of a gold chain and robbing Charles’ friend Celia Lyons of a chain and pendant. In the courtroom, the 14-year-old had his mother standing at his side in the prisoners’ dock while the 17-year-old’s sister stood behind him outside the dock.
The teens’ attorney Fareed Ali raised concerns about their time in police custody from December 11 to yesterday. The older teen was kept at Belmont Police Station and the younger at Woodbrook Police Station.
Ali said the police are fully aware of the treatment that suspects ought to be given while in their care, yet they fail to do so. Ali was referring to what he called the “Rolls Royce treatment” of the 14-year-old, who, while at the police station, was allowed to bathe every day and brush his teeth. He added that on Christmas and Boxing Day the teen was allowed to watch DVDs in the office of Insp Montrichard.
Ali told the Chief Magistrate that while he did not expect his other client to watch DVDs, he certainly could have been allowed to bathe daily as well instead of being permitted only three baths over the 16 days he was in custody.
The attorney claimed his 17-year-old client was beaten, choked, cuffed in the stomach and beaten by police with a gun butt in the head. Some time during his detention, Ali said, an officer placed his client in a police van and took him to El Socorro, where he was pistol-whipped, kicked and slapped. One officer, he said, placed his foot on his client’s head and fired a shot to the ground, threatening to kill him.
Ali’s submission was cut short by court prosecutor Sgt Kelston Pope, who said the appropriate time for it was at a later date. He asked both the Chief Magistrate and the media in court to ignore Ali’s remarks, saying they could be prejudicial in a later stage. Ayers-Caesar adjourned the matters to January 21 and remanded the younger of the two teens to the St Michael’s Home for Boys, Belmont, and the older to the Youth Training Centre at Golden Grove, Arouca.
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