Accused in girl’s abduction freed after victim drops charges

Odella Patterson, the woman alleged to have forcefully taken an 18-year-old girl from her workplace and held her at a hotel in the city against her will, walked free from the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court yesterday after the complainant decided to drop the matter against her.

It was alleged that on September 9, at Brickdam, Georgetown, Patterson abducted Tenisha Fernandes, to cause her to be secretly confined against her will. Fernandes was ordered to pay costs in the sum of $25,000, for wasting the court’s time.

Patterson had not been required to plead to the indictable charge of abduction, when it was read to her by acting chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry. 
Prosecutor Stephen Telford told the court that Patterson, who was a friend of Fernandes, had gone to the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GT&T) where she works and invited her out of the premises to talk. According to Telford, Fernandes, who accepted her invitation, accompanied her to the road and was later forced into a car which was stopped by the accused. It sped off immediately but Fernandes’ screams caught the attention of her co-workers, who summoned the police to the scene.

Telford said that quick response from the lawmen led to a chase, which ended at the Sleep-in Hotel, where the two women were found. According to the prosecutor, Patterson accused Fernandes of having an affair with the father of her children. Telford added that the man at the center of the issue was met by the two women at the hotel and a physical altercation later ensued between the two females. 

Attorney Deborah Kumar, who entered an appearance for the teen, told the court that she was instructed that she no longer wanted to pursue the matter against her alleged abductor. Fernandes was later ordered to take the witness stand, where under oath she told the court that she no longer wished to pursue with the matter. When asked by the Prosecutor if her decision to drop the matter was by choice and not forced or instigated by anyone else, she softly responded, “it was my choice to drop the matter.”

A visibly relieved Patterson, who was unrepresented, was later told by the magistrate that the matter against her had been dismissed.

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