Family of murdered Canefield woman files complaint against police

claims ranks left woman alone with killer

Rohanie Lakhan and Ramesh Ramdeen

The Corentyne couple, whose  daughter was  murdered on Monday by her husband minutes after the police had left their residence, has filed a report with the Police Complaints Authority in New Amsterdam.

The family is demanding justice from the authorities and is calling for the dismissal of Police Sergeant 15818 Vanessa Williams, who they say acted carelessly on Monday, when she accompanied the now murdered woman,  Rohanie Lakhan, also known as “Sabrina” and “Mama”, 29, to her Lot 101 Kilcoy, Chesney Housing Scheme house in order for her to collect her belongings.

The Police Office of Professional Responsibility has also launched an investigation.

The family is contending that if the police woman had not left the house, the husband, Ramesh Ramdeen, also known as “AD”, 44, would not have had the opportunity to murder the woman. After committing the act, he killed himself.

Rohanie’s  mother, Monica Lakhan, 50, of Williamsburg Squatting Area, relayed to Stabroek News that her daughter, after 15 years of physical and verbal abuse from her husband, had decided to end the marriage after “them fight and she see he put a cutlass behind the bedroom door and she see a piece of rope hang upstairs.”

The woman said that when her daughter questioned Ramdeen about the cutlass and rope, “He tell [her] how he bring the cutlass in case anything happen in the night, and the rope fall down and he pick it and hang it there.”

However, the woman stressed that her daughter did not believe him and told the mother that she would not return home, since she was afraid for her life.

Lakhan further explained that her daughter had suffered immensely at the hands of the man, an alcoholic. According to the woman, earlier in the year, Ramdeen had cuffed Lakhan in her face during a fight, and broken her nose.

Lakhan said that her daughter would often leave the man, but after interventions from his family she would return home on promises that he would change for the better.

Meanwhile, the woman recalled that on Monday the last time she saw her daughter was when she left to go to the Albion Magistrate’s Court.

“Me ask she to go and she tell me let me stay and watch the children she will go and collect she clothes with the police and come back. She say ‘mommy me go come back, me go come back quick,” Lakhan recalled.


Unexplainable feeling

Asha Hidar

According to Lakhan, she had an unexplainable feeling throughout the day that something would have happened since her mind was only on her daughter. “After me na see she a come back, me call the station and give she name and ask if she deh deh, them say how she just left with the police to go home. Me feel so nice that police gone with she,” the woman noted.

She recalled, “Me call she house phone and the man sister answer and me ask to talk with me daughter and she say yes and give she the phone, me daughter say she deh pack the clothes and me ask if she alright and she say she alright that the police deh there to.”

However, when she called a second time, she recalled, “Me say `mama so long?’ and she say `yeah’, me say who deh deh, she say she and the police and she sister in law and she daughter, that she a pack up”.

The woman noted that around midday on Monday she had a stronger feeling that something was going wrong, “Me pickney na come, me call, me call, she husband answer me and talk like a pig with me and me talk like a pickney, me say ‘weh mama?’ and he give mama a phone, me say ‘mama wa you a do?’ and she say she a pack up and how she a talk she na sound nice.”

The mother noted that over the phone she could tell that her daughter was crying, “She tell me she a come and when she come she go tell me what happen.” However, that was the last time the woman heard her daughter’s voice.

She said that around 12.30, she called for a fourth time and after no one answered she immediately knew that something was not right. Lakhan then phoned a neighbour of her daughter, who told her that her daughter’s house was tightly closed and that he had heard chopping and beating sounds coming from the house. “He say bare cutlass a fire and when me hear that me throw down the phone and grabble me husband and me say `ow bai mama done, mama done’”, she said.

The woman then alerted her other children at home, who immediately went to the Kilcoy Chesney Housing Scheme.

A brother of the deceased, Lakhan yesterday told Stabroek News that his mother phoned the Albion Police Station and told them that the man, Ramdeen was beating their sister. However, he relayed, “When we deh going, mommy call the police and them say them left, but when we going in, the police vehicle deh stop a talk with some car man, and we stop and tell them, them ask for she name and then them turn around and them go back.”

According to the brother, the said police woman who had accompanied his sister to remove her belongings, was in the police vehicle at the time.


Done know what happen

Monica Lakhan

The brother said that the police arrived before the relatives. “When we meet he tell we that nobody inside the house, but then them come out and say `boy which one ayo, a big one’ and me say me, and me brother start cry then and we done know what happen,” he relayed.

Lakhan recalled that by then the police had secured the crime scene. “Them stand up with gun at the door and gate, and say nobody to go in the yard”, he noted.

Meanwhile, Commander of B Division, Lyndon Alves when contacted yesterday told Stabroek News that a request was made by the probation officer to have the police accompany the woman to her home to remove her belongings which was done. However, he said, the police left the residence, after Lakhan told them that she wanted to remain with her husband.

However, according to Ramdeen’s sister, Asha Hidar, 51, of Lot 73 Canefield, East Canje Berbice, the police woman had left after the woman was taking too long to pack her belongings.

The woman recalled that she, too, was present at the Albion’s Magistrate Court, where the now dead couple’s eldest child was placed in her care. She relayed that the 13-year-old girl had grown up in Canje with Ramdeen’s relatives.

According to the woman, both Lakhan and the child had to retrieve their belongings, “When we reach the mother pack the daughter clothes and give the daughter and she got to pack her clothes too, but then she ain’t finish, the police had to go because the mother didn’t finish but the (child’s) clothes been done pack, so me left with the child after the police left,” she relayed. She added, “She want them to drop she but after she ain’t finish she end up tell them go.”

According to the woman, the police left sometime after 11. 30 am on Monday, while Lakhan’s mother said she last spoke to her daughter around 12.00, when she was already in tears, since it was suspected that the man had already started to physically assault her.

Hidar further relayed, that her brother, Ramdeen had been telling her to leave earlier, since “the dam long and the sun hot”.

She further explained, that her brother had told her that they had separated last week after a fight. “He say she a deh pon she phone too much, and he na like that and that’s why them fight and she go away”.

Hidar noted that her brother and Lakhan would often fight but she said “a long time me na hear about it”.

She said that she often spoke with him to stop the assaults. “He say he na fight with she but he talk about the phone, phone and she pack and gone she mother Wednesday (last week)”.

Meanwhile, a senior Police source out of B Division, noted that the police ranks on that day were responsible for carrying out the order.

“If she told the police she took out the order and have a change of mind, we (police) would have to go back to the station and make the documentation,” the source said, while adding that if the police were aware of the previous abuse, they should have made a better call. “You would want to be on the safe side. Let us see she get her things and move out, so that the police would have done their part, and if she wanted to go back, it was up to her, it depends on the individual police,” he noted.

On Monday, Lakhan had been granted a protection order from the Albion Magistrate’s Court. 

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