Osmond Baboolal appeared in the Princes Town Magistrates' Court yesterday, accused of attempting to murder students Sherena Mohammed and Brandon Pahalad. Baboolal, 27, of Williamsville, stood before Senior Magistrate Indrani Cedeno, charged with the indictable offences laid by Cpl Ian Revero. He was remanded to the St Ann's mental hospital for observation and the matter was adjourned to February 22. Baboolal and his sister survived after notorious drug lord Dole Chadee had ordered a gang to kill four members of their family in 1994. Chadee and eight members of his gang were found guilty and subsequently hanged for the Baboolal murders. Yesterday, when Baboolal's name was called in Princes Town First Magistrate's Court at 11.25 am, Cedeno asked: "Isn't he one of the (her voice trailed off.) I remember him, as a child. I dealt with his case in 1994, in the matter of custody." She asked his age and police prosecutor Sgt Zamsheed Mohammed said 27. "Ah, yes, he would have been about 12 at the time," she said.
Attorney Anslem Lender, led by Richard Valere, appeared for Baboolal. The matter was stood down as Lender said he needed to get further instructions from Baboolal. The case was recalled around 11.55 am when the charges were read. It is alleged that on February 9, at Guaracara Road, Williamsville, Baboolal attempted to murder Pahalad and Sherena Mohammed. He was not called upon to plead. Sgt Mohammed objected to bail. "This young man needs to be separated from society whether (he) is sent to St Ann's or remanded to Golden Grove," he said. "He cannot be allowed to walk the streets today or tomorrow...He's dangerous, very dangerous." The prosecutor said Sherena, 14, remained warded at Port-of-Spain General Hospital in serious but stable condition, and Pahalad was discharged. The prosecutor said he did not wish to go too much into the evidence of the case.
"The circumstances are alarming...These two children, 12 and 14 years, were at 7.20 am, awaiting transportation (to go to school) in the vicinity of their homes," when, it is alleged, the accused walked up to these innocent children and started chopping them on their heads," he said. "By all indications this act appears senseless." He said Baboolal had two previous convictions in 2004, in addition to two pending matters which were to be verified. Valere strongly rejected the police prosecutor's reasoning. It would be the first of several loud exchanges between the two. He said while he understood the prosecutor's point on the students' lives being threatened, he did not believe it was sufficient to refuse bail, since Mohammed was being swayed by emotions. Cedeno asked if there was any previous altercation between Baboolal and the students. "Absolutely nothing to indicate anything previous..." Mohammed said. This prompted a heated exchange between the two, causing Cedeno to interject.
She said: "In the interest of justice, I need to ask (some questions.) Mr Baboolal, what is your name?" Baboolal replied: "Osmond Baboolal." "Do you know where you are?" she asked. "Princes Town Magistrates' Court," responded Baboolal. "Are you fully aware of what is taking place?" asked Cedeno. "Quite aware, My Lady," Baboolal said. Valere suggested that his client be placed in a controlled environment to "determine what happened, what triggered him." "The provocation may not be direct from the individual, it could come from being provoked by children in the same uniform...It couldn't happen out of the blue," he said. The magistrate disagreed, saying that a report from St Ann's Mental Hospital was needed since, on the prosecution's case, "there was no prior altercation or previous provocation." Cedeno said: "There is need for him to be analysed and a report given. Bail is denied, remanded to St Ann's for observation, psychiatric analysis and report. He is to reappear in court on February 22.