Police are being accused of sexually brutalising a young man with a baton at his cousin’s home in Timehri and at the Timehri Police Station and his mother is now seeking justice and help for medical aids as he recovers in hospital.
While awaiting action against police officers accused of assaulting and sodomising Colwyn Harding, his mother Sharon Harding is seeking the donations of colostomy bags, which are apparently in short supply.
Colwyn, 23, who is now hospitalised at the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH), complained to Stabroek News of having to wear a filled colostomy bag and added that nurses told him that he is only allowed two changes per day. His mother, Sharon Harding, said that during the course of yesterday, she checked everywhere but could not find bags. She is pleading for bags to be given to her son.
Hospitalised for the past three weeks, Colwyn has had two surgeries for the injuries he sustained to his intestine as a result of being sodomized with a baton by a police officer during the initial November 28 assault. He is scheduled for another surgery shortly.
Speaking with Stabroek News, Sharon said that her son was wrongfully arrested because of mistaken identity. “The police them were looking for somebody and they thought that they were the people so they came barging into the house at Timehri,” Sharon said.
She added that after the right persons were found, the police officers refused to release her son.
She said she was told the officers did not want the story of how he was brutalised to get out and opted to keep him locked up.
Colwyn said that while he was being sodomised by a specific police officer, he was in so much pain, he screamed.
He added that in an attempt to stop him from screaming, the officer attempted to push a pair of panties down his throat which prompted him to bite the officer’s hand. As a result, he added, he was subsequently charged with unlawful assault and disorderly behaviour and bail for his release was set at $50,000.
This sum, Sharon said, she could not afford and Colwyn was sent to prison.
His attorney, Nigel Hughes, yesterday took to Facebook to offer an update on his client. “This story of police brutality and torture is worse than I anticipated,” he said.
He noted that Colwyn told him that while in police custody at the Timehri Police Station—after being beaten at the house police stormed for him—he was placed inside a faeces-strewn cell and then beaten again by the same officer who had previously assaulted him at the home.
He added that he was also told that after being confined inside the cell for three days, officers finally decided to take Colwyn to the hospital after other persons in custody pleaded with officers since they feared he would have succumbed to his injuries.
“Would you believe that the said officer who violently sodomized him was assigned the task to take him to the hospital? The officer subsequently drove the victim to a rum shop, leaving him in the vehicle while the officer imbibed and then took later took him back to the station without taking him to the hospital, and upon his return, he was again beaten into a semi-unconscious state by said officer,” Hughes said.
He added that he was told that all the events were done with the full knowledge of senior officers on duty. Sharon said that after she made reports to the Commissioner of Police Leroy Brumell and the Commander of ‘A’ Division George Vyphuis, she was merely told to make a report to the Police Complaints Department. She subsequently made an official report at the Timehri Police Station on Sunday evening.
She added that around 9 am yesterday, she received a call from Hughes, who informed her that her son had been released on his own recognisance. However, when she visited him at the GPH, his ankles were still shackled to the bed.
She added that she has not heard anything from police officers in relation to the matter and has no idea whether any officers were arrested regarding their roles in his assault.