TRAGIC LOSS: Alicia Acevero, 21,
is escorted to the Sangre Grande
Magistrates’ Court yesterday charged with killing her two-day-old baby Nishan Lal. –Photo: STEPHEN DOOBAY
CHARGED WITH KILLING HER BABY
No bail for 21-year-old Sangre Grande mom
Rickie Ramdass email@example.com
IT was a simple but emotional funeral service for two-day-old Nishan Lal, whose body was found stuffed in a bag and floating in a river in Sangre Grande on Sunday morning.
Less than two hours before his funeral service yesterday, the baby’s mother, 21-year-old Alicia Acevero, appeared before a Sangre Grande magistrate, charged with his killing, and was remanded into custody at the St Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital to undergo a mental evaluation.
At the funeral service at Allen’s Funeral Chapel, Guaico, Sangre Grande, Pastor Varma Geelalsingh described the baby’s death as “the plucking of a barely budding rose”.
He said it was not up to mankind to question why such tragedies often take place, but to trust that God knows exactly what he is doing.
“Nishan would have brought laughter and joy in his two days of life, because when a parent brings a child home it is a thrill and an excitement.
“He was snatched away so quickly, so many questions, it was as if God was saying the ugliness of this world was not for this child to see because this world is not nice... In two days, everything changed. We wished that life could just go back to how it was just one week ago,” said Geelalsingh.
Placed in front of the stage area was a tiny white coffin, not more than two feet in length, adorned with a wreath in which the baby’s body lay.
Sitting in the front row was the child’s father, Rishan Lal, together with his close family members.
None of Acevero’s immediate family members were present during the service, mourners told the Express.
Pastor Ronald Heera, who also officiated over the service, spoke directly to the child’s father.
“I am not going to say what I do not know. I am going to say what I do know. No one knows what it is like to lose a child. They think they know, but they don’t. You do not know what it is like to lose a child until you have lost one yourself. I know how it feels because I lost my first daughter when she was only three years old,” said Heera.
Rishan Lal wept quietly during the service, but was inconsolable when his baby’s body was about to be removed from the chapel to the burial ground.
During Acevero’s court appearance before Magistrate Rae Roopchand, she was read a charge of manslaughter, allegedly committed against the child last Friday at James Smart Street, Guaico, Sangre Grande, not far from where she lived. She was walked to the courthouse from the Sangre Grande Police Station, located directly opposite the court, and was not called upon to plead to the indictable charge.
Defence attorney Fareed Ali made an application for bail, saying his client had no previous conviction or pending matters before the court.
He asked the magistrate to accept Acevero’s parents as her surety if bail should be granted.
Police prosecutor acting Sgt Ramdeen, however, said he was objecting to bail because of the seriousness of the offence.
Ramdeen added that the police had received a referral letter from a medical institution stating that Acevero should be sent to the St Ann’s hospital for mental evaluation.
Ali, in response, said Acevero did not have a history of mental illness and sending her to the hospital would be an endangerment to her safety.
The attorney said Acevero was willing to undergo the evaluation and, if granted bail, would present herself at the hospital whenever required to do so.
“It is up to your discretion. She is willing to undergo the evaluation. She has indicated that she does not have a problem with the evaluation and would make herself available whenever she has to.
“If she does not go, then it is very simple for the police to rearrest her, because they know who she is, they know who her parents are, they know where she lives,” said the attorney.
Roopchand, however, said he was in agreement with the prosecutor that Acevero should be kept in custody at the St Ann’s hospital.
She was remanded at the health institution and will reappear in court on October 23.
Little Nishan was buried at the Foster Road Cemetery in Sangre Grande.