THE anguished parents of baby Jaedon Cudjoe sat in the public gallery of the Siparia Magistrates’ Court yesterday as the charge of manslaughter was read to the child’s grandfather Winston Jerricho Cudjoe, in whose car the infant died last Tuesday.
Senior Magistrate Jo-Anne Connor was told that a State attorney will be appointed to prosecute 56-year-old Cudjoe, after she read the charge to Cudjoe that he unlawfully killed Baby Jaedon Cudjoe on May 13 at Petrotrin’s car park at Clarke Road, Penal.
Police said that the child was forgotten in the vehicle for more than eight hours, and an autopsy found that he died from hyperthermia due to extreme heat.
Cudjoe, of Penal Rock Road, had been in police custody since discovering the dead infant, but released last Friday night after being granted $200,000 bail, shortly after he was charged on the instructions of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. He attended Baby Jaedon’s funeral the following day.
Cudjoe, a Petrotrin electrical supervisor of Quinam Road, Penal was told that the charge against him was laid indictably and he was not called upon to enter a plea.
He was represented by attorney Colin Selvon who said that his client had been granted $200,000 bail at the police station. He told the court that Cudjoe’s brother, who had posted the bail, was present in court.
Connor confirmed that bail bonds were attached. Selvon asked for documents to be handed over by the police, including a cautionary statement which he was told by Cudjoe had been given to the police.
The attorney also asked that police diary extracts related to the case be handed over.
Police prosecutor Sgt Sheldon Ablacksingh said the file in the case had been submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
He also told the court that a State attorney will be appointed to the case but was unable to say when this will be done.
As Cudjoe exited the courthouse, accompanied by relatives including Jaedon’s parents Masika Wharwood and Fergus Cudjoe, and an official from Petrotrin, members of the public standing across the road, shouted that he should not have been charged. They also said that his picture should not be taken by members of the media. Cudjoe left with Jaedon’s parents.
He will return to court on June 16.
While in custody last week, concerns were raised over Cudjoe’s mental health and a doctor, a welfare officer from Petrotrin and members of the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) met with him.