Champa Seonarine, the mother of Babita Sarjou, whose skeletal remains were found in a shallow grave at the back of her ex-husband’s yard, testified to last seeing her daughter six years ago, when she left their Public Road, Timehri, East Bank Demerara home to attend the Diwali motorcade in Georgetown.
It is alleged that Sarjou’s ex-spouse, Sharnanand Naraine, called ‘Anand’ of 51 Seaforth Street, Campbellville, Georgetown, and Darrel Ponton called ‘Yankee’ of 54 Broad Street, Charlestown murdered Sarjou. They are currently on remand for the indictable offence.
Seonarine was called by Police Prosecutor Neville Jeffers to testify when the preliminary inquiry (PI) into the matter continued before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan yesterday.
Seonarine, who said she is a farmer, told the court that she last saw her daughter on November 4, 2010. The woman recalled that her daughter had left home to attend the Diwali motorcade in Georgetown. The mother also identified several pieces of clothing, a pair of footwear and jewellery that were recovered from the shallow grave, as her daughter’s belongings.
According to the mother, she last saw her daughter wearing those items.
Seonarine was relatively calm while recounting her evidence.
Also testifying was Police Inspector Suraj Singh, who is stationed at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Eve Leary, Georgetown.
Both witnesses were cross examined by Nigel Hughes, attorney for Darrel Ponton.
The PI continues today when Babita Sarjou’s sister Sunita and another relative will take the stand.
On Tuesday, Police Lance Corporal Orlan Alleyne recounted that he took video footage and an audio recording of a crime scene at 51 Seaforth Street, Campbellville, where the skeletal remains of Sarjou were recovered from the shallow grave, last May.
Lance Corporal Alleyne is a Crime Technician, who is stationed at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Eve Leary, Georgetown. He is attached to the Crime Laboratory.
The video footage, which was transferred from a memory stick onto a compact disc via a computer, was tendered in court, along with a post mortem report related to Sarjou and phone records in relation to three GTT cell phone numbers.
The post mortem examination was conducted by government pathologist Dr. Nehaul Singh.
Also testifying that day was Police Corporal Germaine Laundry.
Corporal Laundry is also stationed at CID Headquarters but is attached to the Major Crimes Investigations Unit (MCIU).
Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum and a team of detectives were able to crack the case on May 22, 2016, after they spent over five hours digging up a site at Sharnanand Naraine’s home.
After digging the site, detectives recovered skeletal remains they suspected were those of the woman. However to confirm, police sent DNA samples overseas for testing. The results proved that those were the remains of Sarjou.
According to reports, Sarjou had left her home to go to the Diwali motorcade on the eve of November 4, 2010 with Naraine who had called her. He reportedly picked her up in his car and while she was sitting in the front passenger seat she was allegedly strangled by Pronton who was reportedly seated at the back of the car.
Sarjou’s lifeless body was allegedly transported to Naraine’s house where it was buried.
Reports had indicated that Naraine had dug the grave two days before Sarjou was killed.
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