Sometime on Saturday night, Barry Karamath, 35, killed his children, ten-month-old Omari Mayers and his sister three-year-old Keanna Mayers, after he fed them a poisonous substance. The trio were discovered along a roadway in Matura. Karamath took the children from their Barataria home after their mother, Okilia Mayers, left to go to work.
Minister of Gender, Youth and Child Development Clifton De Coteau said the ministry has dispatched counsellors to aid the grieving family during their crisis.
Via telephone interview yesterday, De Coteau said: “It is sad. It is tragic.
“The ministry’s social workers are going to help them with the necessary counselling. We have a Community Parenting Caravan for situations like that. We have to help them adjust and deal with situations like this. Clearly, there is the need for support and to teach our males how to deal with situations like this. It is a case of domestic violence. Again we have to look at these things.”
De Coteau added: “At the Ministry of National Security, they do a lot of mentorship work. There is the need for us to take parenting seriously. I would like the opportunity to extend our condolences to the family.”
Diana Mahabir-Wyatt, chairman of the Coalition Against Domestic Violence, said, “It is really reprehensible.” She also said Karamath’s horrible act was an indicator of a breakdown of domestic relationships.
Via telephone interview yesterday, Mahabir-Wyatt said: “I honestly don’t know what to say. It has to do with the father and the children. He was trying to get back at her by killing the children. It is really reprehensible. It indicates a breakdown of relationships. He did not think they were anything more than objects. The children were seen as objects (used) to vent (his) anger against somebody else.”
Mahabir-Wyatt said the issue of abuse reared its ugly head.
She added: “It was apparent he had been abusing her. She had called the police. Again it says a lot about domestic relationships and the nature of domestic violence here. We need to make sure people like that have somewhere to go when they feel they are being threatened.”
Mahabir-Wyatt also said, “Obviously, the man (Karamath) was emotionally disturbed to carry out such an act.
“According to her (Okilia Mayers) this kind of jealousy has been going on for a long time. We need to do an awful amount of work in terms of preventing domestic violence. He was a very possessive man who got jealous.”