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Family wants answers as remand prisoner dies suddenly
JENSEN LA VENDE
Relatives of a prisoner who died behind bars sometime between Saturday and Sunday morning are seeking answers on his cause of death.
Murder accused Michael George, 29, of Indian Walk, Moruga, was remanded into prison custody on October 23 after he appeared in court charged with the murder of Aaron Goorachan.
Goorachan was shot dead at the Couva Extended Care Centre, where he was an employee, on September 21.
According to prisons officials, George was found unresponsive in his cell around 6 am on Sunday at the Extended Remand Facility at the Golden Grove Prison, Arouca. He was pronounced dead by the prison’s doctor Dr Vinod Mahabir. Prison officials said George was mentally unstable and had been refusing meals for some time.
However, a relative of George told the T&T Guardian the former football player never had a history of mental illness. The relative said after he was remanded to prison relatives visited him and he appeared “normal.” The relative said they only knew of George's death when an inmate contacted the family.
An autopsy was done on George at the Forensic Sciences Centre, St James, yesterday but the results were not revealed to relatives. The relative who spoke to the T&T Guardian said they were told by prison officials that when they get the death certificate they will hand it over to the family. The autopsy will also be kept by the Prison Service for their internal investigations, investigators said.
The relative, who did not want to be identified, said it was strange no “independent person” viewed the autopsy done by Dr Hughvon Des Vignes, as only a police officer and a prison officer were allowed to view the procedure.
Relatives said George had recently been hospitalised and was wearing adult pampers and using a wheelchair. They added that from the last time they saw George on October 25 to last week, it is unlikely a hunger strike would have caused him to deteriorate so badly that he lost mobility.