Foulis shallow grave murder accused remanded
Clad in three quarter pants with a checkered shirt and a pair of rubber slippers, a shackled Joel Persaud made his first court appearance, charged with the murder of Gangaram Bharat.
Persaud, 26, was not required to plead to the charge which was read to him by Magistrate Nyasha Williams-Hatmin at the Vigilance Magistrate’s Court yesterday.
The police are alleging that between June 28 and July 3, Persaud clubbed Bharat to death and then attempted to burn his body before burying it in a shallow grave in his backyard at 14th Street, Foulis, East Coast Demerara.
The young man who was unrepresented by counsel stood in the dock and stared intermittently at the prosecutor’s desk while the charge was read to him.
Except for his mother, who turned up during the brief court hearing, no relative was present.
From all appearances, even the relatives of the deceased were unaware of Persaud’s court appearance, which came a day after he was captured by police in Berbice where he had taken his wife in an effort to avoid arrest.
At the time of his capture, he was reportedly planning to flee to neighbouring Suriname.
Police had arrested four of Persaud’s neighbours on the day that Bharat’s body was discovered, but they were all subsequently released yesterday, along with the wife of the accused.
Persaud’s wife reportedly told police that she knew nothing about the murder until her husband was arrested.
Meanwhile, speaking to Kaieteur News outside the courtroom, Persaud’s mother said that she believes she did the right thing.
“The police assured me that they would not ill treat him and as a mother I did the right thing,” the woman declared.
She recalled seeing Wednesday’s newspaper headlines about the incident and immediately recognized the photograph of the house she and her husband had built for their only son.
She quickly made enquiries before travelling to the Foulis house where she met the police and it was at that point that she decided that she would cooperate fully with them.