Stepfather of murdered schoolgirl to be charged with her death

Friday, December 06, 2013 | 8:39 AM    

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – The stepfather of six-year-old Keyana Cumberbatch, the primary school student whose body was found stuffed in a barrel in the bedroom of her home, is to be charged with her murder.

Director of Public Prosecutions, Roger Gaspard, has given the police the instructions to lay the charge against the man, who is due to appear in a court in Arima later on Friday.

The suspect has been in custody ever since the schoolgirl had been reported missing a little over a week after returning home from St Barbara’s Shouter Baptist Primary School where she was a second-year pupil. The murder charge comes one day after Cumberbatch was laid to rest

An autopsy performed last weekend concluded that the child died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head and that she had been sexually assaulted either when she was unconscious or dead.

Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar, who was among the mourners at the funeral on Wednesday, has since appointed a 17-member Child Protection Task Force with a mandate to review all existing policies, legislation and protocols in place to protect the nation’s children.

She said the Child Protection Task Force’s first task would also be to recommend measures aimed at overhauling and advancing protection, care and intervention services of the State and non-governmental organisations.

The Child Protection Task Force will complement the immediate and ongoing emergency response from the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Gender, Youth and Child Development, a government statement added.





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