Soesdyke children killings…Preliminary Inquiry underway
Almost ten months after the brutal slaying of three children at Soesdyke, the Preliminary Inquiry into the case got underway on Tuesday last with the accused, John Blanchard, appearing before Magistrate Leslie Sobers at the Providence Court.
The first witness to take the stand was Blanchard’s mother-in-law Denise Cumberbatch. She will continue to give her evidence on
Tuesday, August 14, when the matter is scheduled to be called again.
On July 5, last, the court ruled that Blanchard was mentally fit to stand trial for the murder of his three children, Joy, Belika and Daniel.
On October 11, 2011, Blanchard was detained for allegedly chopping the three young children causing the death of two of the minors. Belika Blanchard and her five-year-old brother Daniel died instantly, while six-year-old Joy Blanchard succumbed to her injuries several days later.
The family resided at Soesdyke, East Bank Demerara, and according to persons, at the time of the incident, the children’s mother had left for the interior where she sought a better job. It is alleged that the chopping incident stemmed from a phone conversation Blanchard had with the woman moments before.
Blanchard who sold clothing to sustain his family had reportedly been experiencing difficulty with his companion. The two had allegedly split up, with the woman leaving the children behind. It was indicated that Blanchard had sought the support of his younger sister on the night of the incident. She claimed that Blanchard had tried to contact her but was unable to do so.