ACCUSED: Dwayne Lewis



Keyana murder accused tells attorney: Not being handcuffed feels good

By Joel Julien

DWAYNE Lewis, the man accused of murdering his six-year-old step-daughter Keyana Cumberbatch, yesterday told his attorney he was “happy” to be at St Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital.

On Monday, five days after being formally charged at his hospital bed with the death of Cumberbatch, Lewis, a security officer, appeared before Senior Magistrate Indrani Cedeno at the Arima First Magistrates’ Court.

Cedeno ordered that Lewis, 28, be sent to St Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital to undergo a 14-day evaluation.

Lewis, who has been provided with legal aid, was represented by attorney Fareed Ali during the court matter.

Ali yesterday visited Lewis at the mental asylum.

The visit lasted just over an hour.

Ali said the purpose of Lewis being assessed was to determine his “soundness of mind” at this moment and “not prior to his arrival” to the institution.

Lewis has been on suicide watch since being in police custody.

Because it was felt that Lewis would have been a danger to himself and others, when he appeared before Cedeno on Monday, Ali asked her to send his client for a “forensic evaluation”.

He cited Section 13 (1) of the Mental Health Act.

Ali also told Cedeno that Lewis’ “fundamental human rights” had been infringed upon during his time in police custody.

Lewis was not allowed to bathe, brush his teeth or use the toilet for four days at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in Mt Hope because he was handcuffed to a hospital bed, Ali told Cedeno on Monday.

Lewis had to urinate in a bottle during this period.

This has not been the case at St Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital, Ali said.

“My client told me that not being handcuffed felt really good and he is happy to be at St Ann’s,” Ali told the Express in a telephone interview yesterday.

“He is free to interact with the other patients. He is on an open ward and not in a room by himself. He is confined but he is being allowed a level of freedom,” Ali said.

The socialisation with other inmates is supposed to help Lewis with his healing process, Ali said.

Lewis however has been warned not to discuss his matter with any of the other patients, Ali said.

Ali said the head nurse at the St Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital yesterday gave him the assurance that “strict instructions” were given to staff not to make a “show” of Lewis.

One of the complaints made by Ali to Cedeno in court on Monday was that during his stay at the Arouca Police Station, Lewis was made to sit on a chair in order to be photographed by police officers.

These photographs were eventually being circulated on BlackBerry Messenger, Ali said.

“I have been given all the assurances that he is safe and my client is pleased,” Ali said yesterday.

Lewis received death threats from prisoners and even onlookers when he appeared at the Arima Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

He is expected to return to the court on December 30 following the assessment at St Ann’s. 

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