$1.5M bail for cop involved in deadly Mahaica accident

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Twenty-seven-year old Police Corporal Lawrence Carmichael of Seafield Village, West Coast Berbice, was granted $1.5 million bail on Thursday following his involvement in a horrific accident on the Mahaica Public Road, East Coast Demerara (ECD) last month that claimed the lives of a young couple.

Carmichael appeared before Magistrate Fabayo Azore at the Vigilance Magistrate’s Court, ECD; he was charged with two counts of dangerous driving.

The accident occurred on February 2, 2022, and claimed the lives of Christopher Bhagwandat, 20, of Mon Repos, ECD, and his 16-year-old girlfriend, Shereeda Persaud of Bath Settlement, West Coast Berbice.

The cop was represented by attorneys Dexter Todd, Jevon Cox and Dexter Smartt. Carmichael will make his next court appearance on March 10.

Meanwhile, the relatives of Persaud and Bhagwandat gathered outside the court on Thursday and cried out for justice.

They were not happy with the Magistrate’s decision to grant bail.

Relatives of the victims are not happy with the Magistrate’s decision to grant bail (Photo: News Room/March 3, 2022)

Todd told reporters that the “matter” should not have found its way to the criminal court; he believes there should have been a Commission of Inquiry instead.

“Because what needs to change is policy. A policeman pursuing a suspect is permissible under the law.

“…What needs to be [done now] is an interpretation of how that law should be applied – when a policeman must terminate a pursuit – that needs to be addressed and that has to be addressed [at a policy level],” Todd contended.

Todd contended that the policeman in question was not operating “on a frolic of his own.”

“The policeman was following certain information received by other stations.”

Dead: Sheereda Persaud

The young couple was in motorcar PNN 8852 when Bhagwandat was stopped by traffic ranks along the Perseverance Public Road, Mahaicony, Region Five. Bhagwandat was asked to pull over by the ranks but instead drove away.

As a result, a police patrol van gave chase behind the young man and his girlfriend, resulting in the horrific four-vehicle accident.

Several other persons were also injured in the accident including three police officers.

Persaud was a student of the Bush Lot Secondary School and was registered to write 11 subjects at this year’s CSEC exams.

Dead: Christopher Bhagwandat

The teen’s death has devastated her entire family and community; she was the only daughter for her parents.

The young woman was the Minister of Home Affairs during the 2021 Youth Parliament. Her presentation at the Youth Parliament was on road safety where she pleaded with road users to follow the law.

Meanwhile, Bhagwandat was the only child for his mother, and five months prior, his father also died.

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