Baby, mom murdered: Man goes on trial

ANAND BABOOLAL has gone on trial for the murders of a mother and her 18-month-old son. The woman’s body was found in the pit of latrine and the baby entangled in a fishing net on the bank of a river.

It is the State’s that on August 13 2005 the body of Ishmael Timothy Ragbir was found on the bank of the Mafeking River and this led police officer to the home of Ria Ramlochan, 25, at Solomon Street, Mayaro. Her body was found in the outhouse.

Booboolal who is also called “Shawn” and “Son” went on trial before Justice Althea Alexis-Windsor in the San Fernando Third Criminal Court.


The case is being prosecutor by State attorney Shabaana Shah.

Shah said the last time Ramlochan and her baby were seen alive were at their home on Wednesday August 10 2005. She said Baboolal was questioned by the police over a three day period and on August 16 2005, in an interview with the police, he made “certain admissions.” Baboolal, Shah said, told the police that he was at home with Ramlochan and he and the mother were fighting. He said she had a knife which he took form her. Shah said Baboolal stabbed Ramlochan on the bed. Shah said Baboolal told officers that the child was also on the bed.

Shah told the jurors to “Follow the police investigation … Look at how the evidence unfold … It is not a feel sorry thing”. She called on the jury panel to clinically assess the evidence.

The jurors were then showed the photographs taken by police photographer Videsh Ramsaran. The 22 pictures showed the decomposing body of an infant on a fishing net with fishes. The leg of a woman partially wrapped in cloth and protruding from the pit of a latrine and also the body of the deceased woman with three holes to the chest were also seen by the jury. The body was bloated. There were also pictures of a wooden house and baby clothing hanging on a line under a shed at Solomon Street. The jurors also saw pictures of two pillows and mattress with stains and two knives. Pictures also showed portions of the interior of the house where household items seemed to be neatly arranged. A picture of a pair of boxer shorts which Ramsaran took at the Mayaro police station was also among the 22 pictures. Ramsaran’s pictures were tendered as part of the formal admission which was agreed upon by both the prosecution and the defence.

Mom: She wished me happy birthday

Ramlochan’s mother Shakila Gookool was the first to take the witness stand in the matter. She said she was not aware that her daughter was living with anyone. She said Ramlochan had a child with Manick Ragbir.

Gookool said the last time she saw her daughter was the day before her (Gookool’s) birthday. “On Wednesday tenth August she called me in the morning to say happy birthday.”Gookool said her daughter also called her at 8.30 p.m. That was the last time she spoke to her.

She said she tried contacting her daughter by phone three times on Saturday. “It wasn’t normal for her not to call for so long. It went to voicemail.”

Under cross examination by defence attorney Rekha Ramjit, the mother of two said her daughter left between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Tuesday August 9 2005. She said she called to say she had returned home safely. She said on that day husband came home from work around 11 a.m. and spent the day with them at her other daughter Maria’s house and her husband dropped her off to the Princes Town taxi stand.

Gookool said Manick Ragbir came by them “plenty times (but) stopped coming about five months before August 2005. She said Ramlochan lived a year at Solomon Street, Mayaro. Ragbir never lived with her, she said.

Under cross examination Ramlochan’s stepfather Mervyn Gookool said he did not recall her visiting during the week of his wife’s birthday and he never took her to the taxi stand during that period. He said that the relationship between Ramlochan and Manick Ragbir had ended. Asked by Ramjit if Ramlochan and Manick Ragbir had lived together as man and wife Mervyn Gookool said “It appears to be so.”

He said in 2004 he saw the person with whom Ramlochan had entered a new relationship. He said Baboolal was not this man.

Mervyn Gookool had identified the bodies of Ramlochan and her son and they were cremated on August 17.

Baboolal is also being represented in the case by attorney Gina Ramjohn.

Source: Trinidad Express