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Lawyers claim client tortured

The trinidad Guardian / Kenneth “Miller” Browne, 38, the ex-boyfriend of murdered WPC Nyasha Joseph, along with his ex-wife Melissa Browne, 28, appeared in court yesterday charged with murder. Kenneth also faced an additional charge of illegally disposing of Joseph’s body.

The Brownes, of Sea Lots and Carenage respectively, were represented by attorneys Criston Williams, Shirvani Ramkissoon and Shane Patience and were charged with killing Joseph on a date unknown between March 8 and March 16. Kenneth’ allegedly committed his other offence during the same period.

Relatives of Joseph were not present in court, but relatives of the Brownes were.

After the charges were read out to the estranged couple, Williams informed Ayers-Casear that he had written to acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams and head of the Police Complaints Authority David West, about the conduct of police officers attached to the Homicide Bureau and the way they dealt with attorneys representing the two accused. Williams accused one unnamed police officer of “putting his rusty paws” on him and pushing him out of the office when he went to visit Melissa. He added that Kenneth was tortured through sleep deprivation and his clients’ rights were breached.

A four-page letter written to Williams and copied to West, signed by Ramkissoon, stated that Kenneth was kept in a room for five days, which is not in keeping with the modus operandi of the Homicide Bureau. The letter, which was submitted to the court, added that Kenneth was questioned at length since his arrest on March 10 and whenever he fell asleep he was awakened by an officer.

Ramkissoon wrote that attorneys seeking the interest of not only the Brownes, but all those arrested in connection with Joseph’s murder, were treated with “contemptuous and disdainful behaviour” under the guidance of Supt Suzette Martin, when they sought to represent their clients. She added that the treatment by the officers was unbecoming of even a trainee and named attorneys Richard Clarke-Wills, Celeste St Louis-Clark-Wills, Melissa Mano, Seena Baboolal and Kirby Joseph as the victims of the acts. The letter called for an investigation for those responsible for the “egregious conduct” to be held accountable, as their actions lend to the erosion of public’s confidence in the police service.

After hearing the complaints, Ayers-Caesar adjourned the matter to April 18 and ordered that a complete tracing of the criminal records of the two accused be furnished to the court. The court also learnt informally that Browne has two convictions for simple possession of marijuana and illegal vending, while his ex-wife had a conviction for malicious wounding and a pending matter of obstructing a police officer in the execution of his duty.

Joseph was reported missing on March 9 and her body was found on March 16 by two shrimp fishermen in the Gulf of Paria at the mouth of the Caroni River. Her autopsy was deemed inconclusive, but there were marks of violence on her face and neck. Joseph will be buried later this week.

MAN BONDED IN OLD WPC CASE

Before the matter was called, Ayers-Caesar ordered a Morvant man to keep the peace for two years after he was found guilty of maliciously damaging the wind-shield of Miguel Jokhan. The man, Roy Chedick, of Second Caledonia, Morvant, was arrested by Joseph.

Ayers-Caesar said Joseph was supposed to have located a relative of Chedick for yesterday’s court appearance. When the courtroom heard that Joseph was supposed to have a matter before the Chief Magistrate there was a collective gasp in the room.

Chedick was ordered to keep the peace and if he failed he would serve either 182 days in prison or six months. Chedick allegedly broke the wind-shield on March 3 and was taken to court that same day, one week before Joseph went missing.

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