Apr 02, 2011 News
… Bridgette Gangadin’s murder saga continues
The story of Grasstrack Champion, Dave Gangadin, of Lusignan, East Coast Demerara who was charged with murdering his wife, Bridgette Gangadin, continued before Magistrate Sherdel Isaacs-Marcus at the Vigilance Magistrate’s Court.
The hearing has been further scheduled for April 15.
When Kaieteur News arrived at the Vigilance Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, last, Gangadin, who was clad in a white T-shirt and blue jeans, entered the courtroom without being handcuffed.
He sat in the prisoner’s dock as his lawyer, Senior Counsel Bernard De Santos, contested the legality of Bridgette’s relatives’ actions in obtaining the services of a foreign pathologist, for a second opinion into the matter.
Initially Gangadin faced traffic charges resulting from the incident after a local Pathologist, Dr. Nehaul Singh, found that the woman died from a fractured skull, which was consistent with the version of events that Gangadin had given to investigators.
The defendant was charged almost one year ago with his wife’s murder after her body, with her head scalped, was discovered on the Vigilance Public Road, a few yards from the gate of the Vigilance Police Station compound.
Gangadin had told police that his wife fell out of the truck and he later admitted that he failed to render assistance after the rear wheels of the vehicle ran over her head.
However, relatives of the dead woman were not satisfied with the local Pathologist’s findings, and they eventually obtained the services of a foreign Pathologist for a second opinion.
The foreign Pathologist of Trinidad and Tobago, Professor Hubert Daisley, found that there was evidence to suggest that Bridgette Gangadin was strangled.
This subsequently led to the institution of the murder charge.
De Santos argued at Thursday’s hearing that Bridgette’s relatives will have to prove that their actions of obtaining a second autopsy was lawful in accordance with Section 43 of the Evidence Act while emphasizing that there was no authority from a coroner for them to “deal with the body”.
Kaieteur News understands that Bridgette’s relatives obtained documentation from a Justice of the Peace (J.P) named “Ramdass” who, according to the Gangadin family, is not eligible to give such permission.
De Santos told the Magistrate ‘Your worship, this case poses a great deal of legal challenges for both the court and myself, personally’.
He stated that he will “not accept” the second autopsy once it doesn’t fit the all of the necessary requirements.
On Thursday, Police Constable # 20267 Richards of the Turkeyen Police Station, Criminal Investigations Department (CID) testified about his involvement in the investigations pertaining to the case.
Outside of the courtroom, Bridgette’s mother explained that her family had already paid to have Professor Daisley flown in for Thursday’s hearing however they were told by Prosecutor Police Inspector Lloyd Thomas that he was not required to be present at this point in time.
They are contesting that it was the same Prosecutor who initially told them that Professor Daisley needed to be present but it was only until the afternoon before Gangadin’s court appearance that Prosecutor Thomas “changed his previous statement in bringing in the pathologist”.
Magistrate Sherdel Isaacs-Marcus stated that she was scheduled to be presiding in the West Coast Demerara Magisterial District from next week, and she was unsure of a date when she could be available to have the Professor testify.
The magistrate did state that upon the next court appearance on April 15, she would be able to set a date when Professor Daisley would be required to make his court appearance as it relates to this matter.
Earlier the couple’s two son, 11 and 13, testified about the day prior to their mother’s death and the clarity of their testimony was praised by the court, including Prosecutor Thomas and Defence Counsel De Santos.
Others who have already testified in this matter were Police Corporal Rose who gave testimony of his certification of the Motor Canter (GCC 6956) that Gangadin was driving at the time of the incident, and Corporal Floyd Hossanah, who was one of the crime scene ranks involved in the matter.
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