Two teenaged boys yesterday appeared in the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court charged with the murder of Mocha schoolgirl, Sade Stoby and one of them alleged that police forced him to admit to the gruesome crime.
The boys ages 16 and 14 were not required to plead to the capital offence when it was read to them by Principal Magistrate Melissa Robertson-Ogle. They were both remanded into police custody until November 23 when they will make an appearance at the Providence Magistrate’s Court.
Following the discovery of the nine-year-old girl’s body in a clump of bushes, a stone’s throw away from her Barnwell North, Mocha Arcadia home, the village and the rest of the country have been thrown into shock. This was evident yesterday when persons flocked the courtroom just to get a glimpse of the duo.
The 23-year-old man who was arrested along with the lads did not make a court appearance yesterday and Stabroek News understands that he is still in custody.
The particulars of the joint charge against the minors read that between November 2 and 4, they murdered the child.
Stoby, a Grade Four (Primary Two) student left the Mocha Primary School on foot last Friday headed for home a few miles away.
The area where she lived is very bushy. Several searches were launched for her from Friday night until early Sunday morning when her father, Eric and brother Karlon discovered her bruised and lifeless body.
The brother had told this newspaper shortly after the discovery that Stoby’s face was swollen with marks of violence and her neck, which was also swollen, appeared to have been broken. The child was found lying on her side in a small pool of water and her uniform was bunched up around her waist exposing the lower part of her body.
Her private parts were exposed and her underwear was nearby. Relatives had said that evidence of sexual molestation was evident to the naked eye. When she was found her socks were in the water while her shoes were a short distance away from her body on the ground. Her school bag was still around her shoulders and a pair of adult-sized green slippers was also found in the vicinity of the child’s body along with a child’s orange top.
Soon after the gruesome discovery a 16-year-old boy and a 23-year-old man – who according to reports is presently before the courts on charges of molesting two children, a boy and girl – were arrested.
The following day, a 14-year-old who was the last person seen with the child was handed over to the ranks at the Providence Police Station.
A post-mortem examination conducted on the child revealed that she died from asphyxiation due to submersion, compounded by blunt trauma to the head.
Following the incident teachers of the school Stoby attended have been encouraging students especially those living a far distance from the school to walk home in groups.
The 16-year-old accused, who is an orphan, was not tidily dressed. He was wearing a soiled t-shirt, short pants and no shoes. The lad who was in dire need of a haircut faced the entire episode alone as none of his relatives turned up yesterday. When he first entered the courtroom his eyes were puffy and red indicating that he had been crying. The 14-year-old on the other hand, was neatly dressed in a white t shirt with black, red and blue stripes, cream short pants and boots and socks and had his mother standing at his side.
After the charge was read, Magistrate Robertson-Ogle asked the two if they had anything to say on their behalf since they were unrepresented. It was at this point that the elder of the two began wiping tears from his eyes. He told the court that both of his parents are dead and that he has two sisters living in the same village. The lad, who said he works at a factory, when asked if he had any relative who could come for him, told the court that he has an aunt who is living in Mocha but someone would have to take him to her because he doesn’t know her telephone number.
He said amidst tears that the police forced him to say that he had killed the girl and he proclaimed his innocence.
“Them carry meh at de station and put black bag over me face for me to talk things I didn’t do