Ogle Day Care owner remanded to prison on manslaughter charge


Denise Benn, the owner of the Ogle, East Coast Demerara day care where seven-month-old Oriya Gravesande died was on Thursday remanded to prison after she was charged with manslaughter.

Benn appeared before Magistrate Alisha George at the Sparendaam Magistrate’s Court.

She was not required to plead to the charge and was remanded to prison.

The matter was adjourned to May 10.

She was represented by attorney Dexter Todd, who pleaded that his client is not a flight risk and has been cooperating with the Police throughout the investigation.

Todd argued that the charge was only brought against his client because of public pressure and because she is the owner of the day care.

Denise Benn

The police recently received legal advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) that there is sufficient evidence to charge Benn with manslaughter.

The advice came about a week after the DPP returned the file to the Police, asking that they conduct further investigations.

A joint investigation was launched into the incident, which claimed the life of Gravesande on March 21 at the Little Learners Day Care.

The infant died hours after she was dropped off at the centre by her mother.

An autopsy later determined that haemorrhaging, suffocation and compression to the neck were the causes of death.

During the investigation, the owner of the Day Care was taken into Police custody but was later released on cash bail.

The News Room understands that the baby girl was found unresponsive and taken to a health centre where medical professionals attempted to resuscitate her.

The healthcare workers there subsequently called an ambulance from the Georgetown Public Hospital but it seemed too late.

The child was pronounced dead at the city’s main hospital minutes after she was taken there.

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