Hearings of the trial of 12 men accused of murdering businesswoman Vindra Naipaul-Coolman has been adjourned for the rest of this week because of yet another juror-related issue.
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Man accused of serial rapes fears for safety
The lawyer representing a 29-year-old man from St James, accused of raping five women, yesterday raised concerns over his client’s safety in prison. Sterling John raised the issue after his client, Kadus Mannette, was denied bail after appearing in Port-of-Spain Magistrates Court charged with a dozen criminal offences arising out of the alleged string of sexual assaults against the women. John said: “I have been instructed that threats were made, via his family, over his safety in remand. These are of some concern to my client and his family.” Magistrate Melvin Daniel said he did not have the power to instruct prison officials and he could only make a note of John’s concerns in the court records of the case. “This court has no jurisdiction over what goes on in prison,” Daniel said.
In denying Mannette bail, moments earlier, Daniel stated he considered the serious nature of the offences and the “plethora” of charges of which he (Mannette) was accused. In his bail application, John had noted that his client had a clean criminal record and was the sole provider for his three-year-old daughter. Mannette, an attendant at Mathura’s car parts dealership, St James, is accused of attacking the five women between October 5, last year and January 5, this year. Mannette was jointly charged with an unnamed man for abducting and raping two women at Fort George, St James, on November 30 and December 2, last year. His accomplice is yet to be arrested by police. He was also slapped with charges for robbing and grievous sexually assaulting them during the incidents.
Mannette also was charged with raping two other women at a location off the Lady Young Road, Belmont, on October 5 and November 10, last year and abducting another woman at Bergerac Road, Maraval, on October 24. In the most recent of the charges, Mannette is accused of abducting a woman at Henry Street, Port-of-Spain, and raping her at the Queen’s Park Savannah on January 5 this year. A stone-faced Mannette, fidgeted incessantly as the charges were read while he repeatedly turned around to glance at his sobbing relatives who sat at the back of the court.
He was not called on to plead to the charges which were laid indictably. He will reappear in court to answer the charges on February 17.