Wednesday 9th June, 2004

 

Kidnapping of Saada Singh

Angry mob jeers accused

 
 
 
 
 
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A policeman stands guard next to attorney and UNC MP Subhas Panday, from left, who speaks with Mike Singh, Sean Singh, the grandfather and father of kidnap victim Saada, and San Fernando mayor Ian Atherly outside the magistrates’ court yesterday.

Photo: Sookdeo Baney

BY RESHMA RAGOONATH

Police had to form a barrier around the four people accused of kidnapping Saada Singh, who turns four today, to protect them from an angry mob which jeered and followed them to San Fernando Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

“Back off! Back off!” shouted the team of 20 policemen and women.

But the crowd, which began to assemble shortly after 8 am along Harris Promenade and opposite the police station, lunged at the two women and two men as they were being escorted to court at around 11.15 am.

“All you is dogs! Teacher, you is a dirtiness!” the crowd jeered.

The jeers continued as Singh’s preschool teacher Kimberly Moonsammy, 22, her cousin Jonathan, 21, both of Vistabella; Keston Franklyn, 25, of La Brea and Colleen Osborne, 22, of Pleasantville, came out of the station in handcuffs.

The insults flew as the angry mob walked alongside the accused.

Osborne, who allegedly pretended her name was Michelle and took Singh from Giselle’s Montessori School, Archibald Street, Vistabella, last Thursday, got the brunt of it.

“You call yourself a mother?” a woman shouted.

Osborne began to cry as the crowd swelled.

A High Street vendor, wearing a head wrap, ran from the top of the promenade to the court shouting at the dreadlocked Keston Franklyn.

“Rasta, you have to shave your head! Rastas don’t move so!” she shouted.

Franklyn also vends on High Street.

Following close behind the police escort were Singh’s father Sean, her grandfather Mike, and San Fernando mayor Ian Atherly.

Osborne’s mother, Marsha Patterson, overcome with grief, collapsed on Court Street, opposite the court.

“Talk the truth! The truth go set you free!” she cried, as relatives consoled her.

Moonsammy’s mother, Judy, also fainted.

The four later appeared in the First Magistrate’s Court before acting Deputy Chief Magistrate Mark Wellington jointly charged with kidnapping Singh.

They were granted bail in the sum of $100,000 each, to reappear on June 18.

The two Point Fortin residents, Sebastien Mitchell and Kendrick George, who reportedly told their story to the Express before surrendering to the police, did not appear.

A police source said they had not been charged with any offence.

Singh was found wandering along Murray Trace, Siparia, by KFC deliveryman Deoraj Ragoonathsingh on Saturday afternoon, three days after she was abducted.

Four granted $100,000 bail each

A pre-school teacher was among four people granted $100,000 bail each by a San Fernando magistrate yesterday, when they appeared in court for the kidnapping of Saada Singh.

Kimberly Moonsammy, 22, a teacher at Giselle’s Montessori School and her cousin Jonathan, 21, both of Vistabella; Keston Franklyn, 25, of La Brea, and Colleen Osborne, 22, of Pleasantville, appeared before acting Deputy Chief Magistrate Mark Wellington.

They are charged with unlawfully taking and carrying away Singh on June 3 from Archibald Street, Vistabella.

Attorney Keith Beckles appeared for Franklyn.

Osborne and Kimberly were represented by Dexter Bailey and Rupert Frank appeared for Jonathan.

The attorneys applied for their bail.

However, assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard objected.

He said he had information that the accused might interfere with the prosecution’s witnesses.

Gaspard also said the accused faced a serious charge.

Beckles argued that Gaspard’s claims were ludicrous and asked him to present proof.

He said that Franklyn, of Vessigny Village, had given himself up to the police and had been in custody since Friday.

Bailey told Wellington he was surprised by the amount of police who escorted the accused.

He said this would only “feed the media frenzy.”

Bailey said kidnapping was still a bailable offence and advised Wellington to follow the law.

Bailey said his clients had no previous convictions or pending matters and they should be granted bail.

Gaspard told Wellington that if he granted bail he should attach conditions.

Wellington then fixed bail at $100,000 each. He ordered Kimberly and Jonathan to report to the Marabella Police Station on Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays between 8 am and 4 pm.

Franklyn has to report to the La Brea Police Station and Osborne to the Mon Repos Police Station on the same days.

Wellington also ordered the four to surrender their passports. (RR)

Grandpa wants swift justice

BY RADHICA SOOKRAJ

Even as Mike Singh called for justice in his granddaughter’s kidnapping, Marsha Patterson, mother of one of the accused, begged for mercy.

Both stood outside San Fernando CID yesterday, awaiting the four people charged with Saada Singh’s kidnapping to be taken to court.

Singh said he was grateful for the police, who he felt did a good job in their investigation.

“You can see the response of the people,” he said of the crowd assembled at the police station and magistrates’ court.

“We want justice quickly.”

Singh said the family hoped there wouldn’t be any delays in the case.

He said justice would serve as a deterrent to would-be kidnappers.

His words drew cries from Marsha Patterson, mother of Colleen Osbourne, 23, who was charged with three others for the kidnapping.

Patterson, who heard Mike’s comments, called on the public not to condemn her daughter before the trial.

Clutching a friend, Patterson cried: “God, help Colleen! Only you know what is in her heart!”

Patterson said she spoke to her daughter on Monday night and told her that Jesus loved her.

“I tell my child to speak the truth and the truth will set her free,” she said.

Osbourne has two children, aged four and six.

Saada’s father Sean met San Fernando mayor Ian Atherly at the court, but his wife Ria was not present.

Atherly said it was demoralising to see mothers go to court for kidnapping.

He called on communities to get together to fight crime, saying the outcome of Saada’s kidnapping was an example of how people can help the police.

Atherly had provided three cars to the San Fernando police to help them in their investigation.

Attorney and Princes Town MP Subhas Panday, who met senior policemen outside the station, commended Atherly for assisting them.

“We don’t need a big set of legislation to solve crime,” he said.

“All we need to do is work together. The community must help the police.”

There have been 12 people kidnapped for ransom so far this year. In the comparative period last year, there were 20 people snatched for ransom.

Source: Police Service

 

 

©2003-2004 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited

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