Thirty-three-year-old John Blanchard, the clothes vendor who was accused of chopping his three children to death at their Soesdyke home two years ago, has been committed to stand trial for their murder.
Blanchard was committed yesterday after the Preliminary Inquiry came to an end at the Providence Magistrate’s Court, before Magistrate Leron Daly.
During the PI a total of 12 witnesses took to the stand to offer evidence against Blanchard. One was his wife. His mother-in-law and other close relatives who also testified.
In her closing statement Magistrate Daly told Blanchard that the Police Prosecutor had made out a case against him and that there was sufficient evidence for him to be committed. When asked if he had anything to say, Blanchard declined on the ground that he would reserve his comment for the High Court.
Blanchard’s PI commenced before Magistrate Daly in June after Magistrate Leslie Sobers came off the bench.
On October 11, 2011, Blanchard was detained for chopping his three young children, Joy, Belika and Daniel. Belika and Daniel died almost instantly while Joy succumbed a day later at the Georgetown Public Hospital.
The family resided at Soesdyke, East Bank Demerara. According to reports, at the time of the incident, the children’s mother had left for the interior in search of a better job. It is alleged that the chopping incident stemmed from a phone conversation Blanchard allegedly had with the children’s mother earlier.
Blanchard, who sold clothing to sustain his family, had reportedly been experiencing difficulty with his companion. The two had allegedly spilt 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.
The death of the children sparked nationwide interest and outrage. Blanchard was attacked twice while on remand. The man had been beaten severely by fellow inmates who sought to teach the alleged “child murderer” a lesson.
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