Brenda Ferreira, the 26-year-old mother who stabbed her three-year-old son twice to the heart, last Saturday, killing him, was yesterday charged with murder at the Cove and John Magistrate’s Court. The mother of two was remanded on the indictable charge and will return on September 12th pending a psychiatric evaluation.
The woman, who was unrepresented, was escorted in handcuffs to the court by two female police ranks. She was then placed in the prisoners’ dock, where she sat with a blank look on her face.
When questioned by Magistrate Peter Hugh as to her current address, the woman first said it was 15th Street, Foulis. The magistrate then rephrased the question and asked the woman what her lot number was. She answered in a very low tone, “no we renting”.
There was some back and forth on the next court date, since a psychiatric evaluation that has already commenced has not been completed. The Prosecutor asked the magistrate for six weeks to return to court with the evaluation. This request was denied, since the magistrate said such an evaluation should not take more than two weeks. The date was set as September 12 for Ferreira’s next court appearance.
Ferreira was seen last Saturday running behind her son, three-year-old Ramdeo Mahadeo, with a knife in her hand, in the yard of their Lot 585 15th Street, Foulis, East Coast Demerara premises. One eyewitness claimed to have seen the woman thrusting the knife into the child’s back.
The witness said that after hearing the screams of the child, she immediately called the Enmore Police Outpost.
The woman said that “at this time she had dragged the child back into the house. I was in shock, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing!”
The police responded promptly, and the child was found in a bloodied state, lying on a bed in the small wooden structure they call home. The ranks that responded, immediately rushed the child to the Georgetown Hospital, where valiant attempts were made to save the child’s life, but unfortunately he succumbed.
When Kaieteur News spoke to 50-year-old Shamlall Mahadeo, the husband of Ferreira, and father of two children with the woman, he was at a loss as to why the woman would kill their child. He was visibly in distress and was clutching to their other son, who is said to be four years old. The child witnessed the whole incident.
After Saturdays unexplained act, a number of questions have been raised, in relation to how mental health issues are being addressed in Guyana, and if enough is being done in relation to identifying the issues and making sure persons get the relevant help.
The mother has not explained why she would have committed this gruesome act, although there are unsubstantiated claims that the woman said that she had a dream she would die and she wanted her favourite child with her. There is some hope that the psychiatric evaluation will shed some light on what would have caused this mother to kill her child.
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