Deadly Mahaica Accident: Families want cop to be charged with murder
By Isanella Patoir
Relatives of the late Christopher Bhagwandat, 20, and Shereeda Persaud, 16, are not happy with the police investigation into the horrific four-vehicle accident at Mahaica, East Coast Demerara (ECD) and are demanding that Police Corporal Lawrence Carmichael is charged with murder.
The cop – under heavy police protection – appeared at the Vigilance Magistrate’s Court, ECD, on Thursday and was charged with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving. He was released on $1.5 million bail by Magistrate Fabayo Azore.
He was represented by three lawyers – Dexter Todd, Jevon Cox and Dexter Smartt.
Bhagwandat’s mother, Shameeza Bhagwandat, spoke with reporters outside the court where she and other relatives were gathered.
“Today was the court date, the magistrate put him on bail…because she said she considers him a 27-year-old, he don’t have children, he is not married and he has to go to his job…
“…so what happened to my son, these people daughter? Are they not human beings?, the grieving mother questioned.
Bhagwandat and Persaud were involved in a four-vehicle smash-up on February 02. The young couple reportedly drove away from a police road block when they were asked to pull over by the ranks at Mahaicony, ECD.
This led to a high-speech chase and subsequently the deadly accident.
“If they wanted to catch them, they could have catch them in different ways, they could have drive slowly behind them, set up a road block,” the woman said.
Bhagwandat was her only child; five months before his death, she also lost her husband.
Meanwhile, Persaud was the only daughter of her parents. She was a student at the Bush Lot Secondary School and was registered to write 11 subjects at this year’s CSEC exams.
Her mother, Sheliza Mohamed, broke down in tears outside of the court and could not speak to the media.
However, the young girl’s grandmother, Zabeeda Mohamed said: “I cannot explain how much more I must say, it hurt, really hurt, we need justice.
“We need justice, this is not justice, this is my granddaughter; my belly burn just like my daughter belly burn.”
Shereeda’s father contended that Carmichael should not have been bailed.
The families said they will protest until justice is served.
Carmichael was driving a police patrol vehicle attached to the Mahaicony Police Station with three other corporals inside when the accident occurred.
Carmichael will make his next court appearance on March 10, 2022.