A SAN FERNANDO man has been left with a sentence of seven years, nine months and three days to serve for beating a 70-year-old grandmother to death at her home in Palmiste, San Fernando, in 2013. He had been sentenced to serve 18 years.
The elderly woman's body was found in the bathroom. When police found it, Carmen Ramjattan was bound with yellow rope, around her neck, both wrists and her left leg.
Her killer, Ramchand Doodlal, of Rambert Village, entered into plea discussions with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in November 2021, and it was agreed he would plead guilty to felony murder.
An indictment was filed in January 2023, and on Thursday, Doodlal was arraigned and pleaded guilty before Justice Gail Gonzales.
Doodlal was represented by Chief Public Defender Hasine Shaikh and public defender Axia Edwards while Maria Lyons-Edwards represented the State.
In sentencing him, the judge started with a 30-year sentence and gave him a three-year discount for his expression of remorse, his good character before the incident, his guilty plea and his clean record in prison. He also received the usual one-third discount for his guilty plea and the 10 years, two months and 27 days he has already spent in custody were also deducted, leaving him with seven years, nine months and three days left to serve of the 18-year sentence.
According to the State’s evidence, which was accepted by Doodlal, on February 20, 2013, Ramjattan’s son, Dennis, reported her missing to the police after attempts to reach her by phone were unsuccessful.
Dennis asked a neighbour to check on his mother and he reported that the house was in darkness, the gate was open and the car missing.
He left his home in Diego Martin and went to Palmiste. After searching her house with no luck, he went to the hospital and a private medical centre in the area. Attempts were also made to track the car with its tracking device.
On the day she went missing, another neighbour told police he saw her car coming out the driveway around 1 pm but did not see who was driving. An hour later, Doodlal was seen driving the car. The next day, Car Search tracked the car to the M2 Ring Road and called the police. Doodlal was arrested he told officers, he saw the woman put the car’s key on the hood and he asked for money since he was starving.
“She say she eh have none. Ah start the car with the key and she ask me back for the key and ah get vex and push she in the car and drive off.
“She say she have money home so ah drive home by she because ah know whey she living since ah used to do work by she neighbour next door. When we reach by she we gone inside and ah tell she ah want money, she say she ah have none. Ah get vex and ah really hit she some cuff in she head and it had ah piece of rope dey ah take the rope and tie she hand and put it round she neck and leave she in the bathroom and jump in the car and drive through the back road and gone and today ah hear the woman dead,” was the statement police took from Doodlal.
Later, at the police station, he admitted he hit Ramjattan with a boom handle before tying her up.
He also said he did work at Ramjattan’s home and her neighbour's. Ramjattan died because of blunt trauma to the head and a broken neck.