Regrettably, it is uncertain whether Tuesday’s Senate vote on the Miscellaneous Provisions (Marriage) Bill 2016 will actually lead to protection of girls from too-early marriage.
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Probe into death of baby Simeon completed
Although the probe into the death of baby Simeon Cottle has been completed a report is yet to be handed in to Attorney General Anand Ramlogan. The probe was completed in late April. The head of the investigative team, retired Justice of Appeal Mustapha Ibrahim, gave the assurance in a telephone interview yesterday that the report would be delivered within the shortest possible time to Ramlogan.
On what was the time-frame to deliver the report Ibrahim said he could not give a definite answer but gave the assurance there would be no delay. “That is all I could really say at this time, but the report will be handed in very soon,” Ibrahim said. Baby Simeon’s head was slashed from ear to ear as his mother Quelly Ann Cottle underwent a C-section, resulting in his death. The surgery was done at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope on Carnival Saturday.
The doctor who did the operation remains on suspension pending the outcome of the independent investigation. On March 17, Ramlogan named the team to do the investigation. Apart from Ibrahim it included consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at the University College London Hospitals Dr Melanie Clare Davies and neonatologist and former head of the neo-natal unit at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital Dr Petronella Manning-Alleyne.
An autopsy found that the baby died from a laceration to the head which caused massive blood loss and hypovolaemic shock. A number of witnesses have already been interviewed, including Cottle, doctors and nurses. The investigative team also toured the Mt Hope Women’s Hospital. When the team was first introduced to members of the media on April 25, Ibrahim said although the matter was a civil one, if there was evidence that criminal charges ought to be laid, then that would be the case.
He also said then that one of the issues which would be examined extensively was how to improve the neonatal system. Ramlogan had said because the medical profession was so close-knit there was a great reluctance on the part of doctors to testify against their colleagues.