The Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) has moved quickly to dispel reports circulating in the country that the 17-year old charged with the rape and killing of 9-year old Ariel Bhola two weeks ago got assistance in the act from a close family member.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Franklyn Redhead told reporters at a press briefing at Fort George last week Thursday that RGPF is looking at no one else but the accused in relation to the death of young Ariel.
“We have only one suspect on our radar, there is no one else who we suspect. I imagine as the investigation proceeds that there will be persons that will be interviewed for various reasons but certainly in the context of who is culpable in this case, there is only one person that we are looking (at) in terms of culpability and there is no one else and I state very categorically there is no one else,” he said.
According to the No.2 man in the Police High Command, there is sufficient evidence pointing to one individual responsible for the crime and “there is no evidence of collusion with anyone else as far as we know.”
The Social Media was rife with reports that Police were looking for an uncle of the accused and that the man had gone into hiding from the lawmen.
Deputy Commissioner Redhead appealed for law and order to take its course and urged persons to refrain from getting involved in any form of vigilante justice.
THE NEW TODAY had picked up information that family members of the murdered 9-year old have vowed to take revenge on close relatives of the accused who are living in the village.
There are unconfirmed reports that one member had attempted to throw a lighted torch into the house occupied by family members of the 17-year old murder suspect.
Deputy Commissioner ‘Redhead told reporters: “I want to clarify this and to ensure that good senses prevail and ensure that persons do not take proceedings into their own hands and not be driven by emotions.
“I want to make sure that persons are driven in a very level headed and mature way – allow the process and the system to work and to allow the process and system to work very effectively and not encourage any other kinds of behaviour that could be detrimental to ourselves as a people,” he said.
The senior police officer suggested that the unfortunate slaying of the school child should be seen in the context of a much more deeply embedded problem within the society including the male psyche and “the way we are cultured as a people in terms”.
“Unless we address these fundamental issues that are deeply entrenched within our culture, I think we (will) see the consequences of that in terms of violence against women, violence against each other and violence within the society”, he said.
“…So, it has to be a coming together, an understanding of what are the root cause of these problems and not only treat the consequences of these problems but also address the root cause because that is where we need to apportion the main efforts, in terms of seeking solutions,” he added.
Assistant Commissioner of Police, Trevor Modeste who was also in attendance at the press conference told reporters that the Juvenile Justice Act is the one to be used in prosecuting the 17-year old charged for killing young Ariel.
“This particular case is governed by the Juvenile ordinance and in relation to juveniles there are rules and regulations leading down to investigation as it relates to juveniles and as it relates to publishing information as it relates to juveniles. We have to be guarded and work within the remiss of the law in dealing with juvenile cases,” he remarked.
ACP Modeste also said that persons should understand that the police force has an obligation to protect the 17-year old.
Several persons who showed up outside the court to get a glimpse of the accused when he appeared in court last Wednesday wanted to lay their hands on him.
The youngster was under heavy police protection including members of the crack Special Services Unit (SSU) as he was hustled in and out of the court and then into a police vehicle which sped away in high speed from the compound.