RHONDOR DOWLAT Thursday, May 18 2006
A shocking story
EMILY ANAMANTHODO was abandoned by her relatives when she was warded at the San Fernando General Hospital last year with a broken shoulder and other wounds about her body. She was already a victim of physical and sexual abuse which was known to many relatives, neighbours and the police, none of whom took the strong action that would have saved her life.
The baby girl had been left alone at the hospital and authorities said even though she was just three years old at the time, was never visited by anyone. Nurses would see her running up and down the corridors of the ward playing and laughing by herself — sometimes with other children on the ward.
After a month, when her injuries healed and no one came to take her home, the medical staff concluded that Emily had been abandoned. One of the hospital’s social workers intervened and took charge of the case.
On September 5, 2005, Emily was admitted to the Mother’s Union Children’s Home (MUCH), at Pouchet Street, San Fernando. While at the home, family members went to court over her custody which was granted to two women and Emily returned to live with relatives.
The abuse resumed. She was beaten, burnt with cigarettes, raped and buggered. On Monday night the abuse reached a pitch and neighbours heard her screams which eventually faded and died. She was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Two relatives up to late yesterday remained in police custody at the Homicide Bureau (South). Yesterday, one of the relatives accompanied police investigators back to the house where the child had endured the torture, and assisted them in their search for evidence.
A file on the investigations was expected to be completed and sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions at about 6 pm yesterday. Charges are to be laid.
Founder and manager of MUCH, Esla Crawford, described Emily as a very frightened and withdrawn child.
“At the time of her admittance to the home she was a very frightened and quiet child. I think she was used to playing by herself during the period in which she was abandoned at the hospital. Sometimes she would play with the other children but generally speaking, she was scared,” Crawford said.
Crawford revealed that Emily’s behaviour upon admittance was as a result of the abusive background from which she came.
However, she added that the child received love, care and attention at the home and was showing improvement during her four months there. Then a relative produced a court order to the home with respect to the custody of Emily and was taken away on January 23 this year.
She noted that it was the first time since the home’s establishment, five years ago, that such a horrible incident had occurred.
Homicide detectives, according to Crawford, visited the home (MUCH) on Tuesday at about 6 pm where they retrieved files relating to Emily’s stay at the home.
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