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I never saw any domestic reports

Published: 
Friday, February 19, 2016
Johnny responds to Rachael:
Rachael Sukhdeo leaves the Tunapuna Magistrates Court on Wednesday. PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES

Former head of the Central Division, retired Senior Superintendent Johnny Abraham, says no reports of domestic abuse involving Rachael Sukhdeo were made to the Chaguanas Police Station while he was in charge between 2014 and 2015.

Speaking to the GML Enterprise Desk Abraham said: “She knew me personally and she never brought any incident of abuse to my attention. I do not know if she made reports prior to my being in charge but no report came to me.”

Abraham, who retired from the service late last year, added: “if any report was made I would have dealt with it.” 

The woman had reported that she had made several reports at the Chaguanas Police Station but they were not acted upon.

He said Rachael must know the officer whom she spoke with and when she spoke with them whether it was on the phone or whether she came to the front desk and the information was not passed to him but he insisted “she never spoke to me.” He said he also found it “distasteful” a Facebook post from an account in the name of Rachael Sukhdeo which described Chaguanas police officers as “the most corrupt” and said she felt like the offender rather than the victim.

Abraham said in domestic abuse matters interrogating officers ask a lot of questions and it could be that given the line of questioning she may have felt “pressured.” 

However, he said the intention was never to make the victim feel like an offender, “it is just doing the job to get the facts.”

There is also a post on the woman’s Facebook page that a senior officer threatened her.

Former police commissioner Everald Snaggs described the events which unfolded on Tuesday outside the home of car dealer Sheron Sukhdeo at Orchard Gardens, Chaguanas, as an “unfortunate development that took place and it’s in the media open to public trial. It is so unfortunate.” 

Crime Watch host Ian Alleyne was arrested and charged with three offences by TV6’s Beyond the Tape host Insp Roger Alexander which was captured by rolling television cameras. Alexander said Alleyne refused to leave an active crime scene when instructed. 

Snaggs said those were two high-profile people who “deal with public issues.” He did not want to delve into the video, saying there may be more to it than met the eye. “It’s a learning experience for all of us,” he added.

Former national security minister Gary Griffith said: “Police do have the authority to remove someone from the compound. There is no need for yellow tape as is being said.”

He said the correct procedure in those types of circumstances was “first for the officer to use verbal persuasion. If that does not work then he said the officer can give a gentle push to move the person and if the person is resisting then a more forceful measure can be used, including handcuffs.”  

However, he said it would be up to the Police Complaints Authority to review the video material and determine whether “excessive force” was used.

The Police Complaints Authority has said it could not investigate the matter because Section 37 of the PCA Act prohibits the authority from conducting an investigation once criminal charges have been laid. 

The Act says: “Where the subject matter of a complaint or an investigation is the subject of judicial proceedings, the authority shall not commence or continue an investigation pending the outcome of those proceedings.