Charges likely for shop owner who sold 9-year-old rat poison

Death of toddler

…PM inconclusive

As Police continue to probe the death of an infant who succumbed after ingesting carbon tablets (rat poison), Director of the Child Care and Protection Agency (CC&PA), Ann Greene, has disclosed that charges are likely for the shop owner who sold the tablets to the nine-year-old brother, who left the tablets in the reach of the child; as well as his mother, who left the two children unattended.
Greene made this statement during an interview with this publication on Saturday, even as she noted that the nine-year-old has to undergo a mental evaluation and counselling, since he is being blamed for the death of the baby.
“There is enough evidence there that I don’t see why they can’t charge (the shop owner)… As far as we see it, there is evidence to charge the woman, yes, and the mother for neglect,” she explained.
According to Greene, the mother was irresponsible when she left the nine-year-old boy to care for the one-year-old toddler.
Greene reminded that it was a child matter, which ought to be handled with caution because of the impact it can have on the boy’s future.
Although the nine-year-old boy is presently in the care of CC&PA, Greene disclosed, it is likely that the child would be removed from the home he was in and be placed with his grandmother, with whom he lived before his baby brother was born.
In addition, she noted, “He has to get a lot of support, he is traumatised; (so) we are going to provide that (counselling). We are going to have him screened physiologically, and so he is going through that process; we will have him screened by the physiologist”.
Meanwhile, Police Public Relations Officer Jairam Ramlakhan informed that the boys’ mother was released from custody on Friday, after being questioned. He said statements were also taken from the shop owner who sold the tablets to the child.
Ramlakhan disclosed that the Police are continuing to investigate the case, and would be seeking legal advice in the matter.
A post-mortem examination (PME) conducted on the year-old infant by Pathologist Dr Nehaul Singh on Friday at the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC) mortuary has been inconclusive about his death.

Police have disclosed that the contents from the toddler’s stomach have been collected for further testing to determine the cause of his death.
Meanwhile, Greene explained to this newspaper on Friday that, based on their investigations, the nine-year-old boy did not intentionally kill his brother. She related that the boy in fact bought the tablets to get rid of rats in the home after he overheard his mother and stepfather arguing about the presence of the pest in their Lot 18 La Grange, West Bank Demerara home.
Inquires made by the CC&PA revealed that the child asked one of his school friends for money to purchase the tablets, and later arrived at home with same, which he placed on a low table.
He subsequently went to prepare tea, and in his absence, the one-year-old child consumed the tablet.
“He came home and put it on a low table, and then he went to make tea for him(self) and his brother. The little one went to the table and got it, and started to eat it. By time he noticed and he looked, the child had eaten a greater part of the thing, and he raised an alarm and woke up his mother, and they took the child to the hospital,” Greene explained.
Superintendent Jairam Ramlakhan on Thursday confirmed reports that the young child was taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital by his mother after she observed he was vomiting on Wednesday. Reports state that the child would usually be left in the care of his nine-year-old brother on numerous occasions.