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Jury hears how mother and baby were killed

Published: 
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Ria Ramlochan,right, and her 18 months old baby Ishmael Timothy Ragbir

Mayaro mother Ria Ramlochan was stabbed to death and her body dumped in a latrine, while her baby boy’s body was found in a fishing net on the bank of the Mafeking River 12 years ago.

Yesterday, as the murder trial of 40-year-old Anand Baboolal began in the San Fernando Third Assizes, the jury was warned against trying the case on emotions.

“Is not a feel sorry thing,” said state attorney Shabaana Shah, who told the jurors to make a clinical assessment of the evidence and to set aside their prejudices.

Ramlochan and her son were last seen alive on the night of August 10, 2005. Three days later, baby Ishmael Timothy Ragbir’s decomposing body was found on the banks of the river in a fishing net.

Investigations led police to the baby’s home at Solomon Street where they came across an outhouse and saw Ramlochan’s leg protruding from the pit. When the decomposing and bloated body was removed from the pit, there were three holes in the chest.  

Shah told the jury there will be no eyewitness testimony, but Baboolal, in an interview with the police three days after the bodies were found, confessed to the murders.

“In a nutshell ... he admitted to being at home with Ria Ramlochan and he says while there Ria and he were fighting. She had a knife and he took it from her and he stabbed her,” said Shah.  

She said Baboolal told police while he was stabbing Ramlochan on the bed the baby was also on the bed.  

The evidence of police photographer Videsh Ramsaran, who took photos of the crime scene, was read in court and the jury was shown 22 photos of the decomposing corpses, two knives, blood stained pillows and a mattress.  

Ramlochan’s mother Shakila Gookool, 58, said her daughter called her on August 10, 2005 to wish her happy birthday. She spoke with her again at around 8.30 pm that night.

Gookool said she called her daughter three times on the day their bodies were found because she had not heard from her. She said her daughter had broken up with Ishmael’s father, Manick Ragbir, about five months prior to her death.  

Gookool’s husband, Mervyn, 65, under cross-examination by attorney Rekha Ramjit, recalled that at the preliminary inquiry in June 2006, he testified that he met a man Ramlochan was involved with, but Baboolal was not that person.

The trial, which is being heard before Justice Althea Alexis-Windsor, continues today.