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Judge: Killing was demonic

Tuesday, June 24 2008

click on pic to zoom in
Nadia Pooran ...
Nadia Pooran ...

DEMONIC, wicked, merciless, cold and callous were just some of the words used by Justice Alice Yorke-Soo Hon yesterday, to describe convicted killers Nadia Pooran and Shelly-Ann Anganoo before sentencing them each to 20 years in prison.

Pooran, 27, and Anganoo, 23, pleaded guilty to the 2003 killing of retired school teacher Ralphie Ramcharan.

Pooran, Anganoo, and two other men were held for the crime. However, the men pleaded not guilty and are to stand trial.

Yorke-Soo Hon, in a pre-amble before sentencing the two, said, “The deceased was stabbed mercilessly, beaten, and left to die. This extreme callousness cannot go un-noticed by the court. These young women were so callous, that very night they attempted to use the deceased’s bank card at a gas station. This action was cold and heartless. It was an heinous act of cruelty and one which was committed quite brutally. This sought of crime leaves little room to extend the hand of mercy.”

Ramcharan’s body was found on March 26, 2003, close to the Barataria flyover by gardeners.

He was bludgeoned to death and his feet were tied at the ankles. “There is an appalling and disturbing lack of respect for human life in society. It is quite alarming. There is no excuse for this killing. .... It was an un-provoked, gratuitous act of violence,” the judge said.

“It is a sad day when the court has to sentence two young girls for such a wicked and demonic act. The killing was not premeditated but one which spiralled out of control. The original plan was prostitution. Both women, since their arrest have cooperated with the police, have shown remorse for their action, they have not wasted the court’s time in this matter and have furthered their education. Basically they have done well for themselves. However the court must express its abhorrence for this crime,” Yorke-Soo Hon said.

Ramcharan had gone to Dino’s bar, in Curepe, when he was followed to his car by Pooran and Anganoo.

The two women got into Ramcharan’s car and were joined by two men. Ramcharan was then forced to the back seat of the car and was stabbed with a pair of scissors and beaten with a wheel spanner. According to a post-mortem report, Ramcharan had a total of 54 injuries about the body, including his skull, brain, neck, limbs and chest.

In a plea for leniency, lawyers for the two Israel Khan, SC, Daniel Khan and Hayden St Clair Douglas said the two women lived hard live but sought to educate themselves while incacerated.

St Clair Douglas said Pooran was a victim of rape and abuse.

He said Anganoo she did not intend to kill anyone but was on “the hustle” that night to buy a television for her children.

Daniel Khan, in his plea for leniency for Anganoo, said she was only 16 years at the time of the incident and was easily influenced by her peers.

He said Anganoo was mislead by her cousin (Pooran) as he begged that she be given a lighter sentence since her role in the killing was limited. This was dismissed by the judge who said that she saw no justification for imposing different sentences.

After the sentencing exercise, family members of the two women cried outside the Hall of Justice on Knox Street, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. Pooran’s aunt Patricia Rampersad said she felt it for Pooran and her two grieving children. Anganoo’s relatives refused to speak to the media.

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