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Guyanese murder accused sent for psychiatric check

PORT-OF-SPAIN -- A 38-year-old Guyanese woman, who was charged with two murders arising out of the May 6 Nelson Street fire here, has been sent to St Ann’s Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.

Audrey Ann Andrews appeared in court yesterday, the second time since she was charged with the murders. Just like her first appearance, Andrews seemed dazed and incapable of understanding the seriousness of the charges.

Andrews appeared before Chief Magistrate Sherman Mc Nicolls in the Port-of-Spain Eighth Magistrates’ Court.

It is alleged that on May 6 at 94 Nelson Street, Port-of-Spain, she attempted to murder Tony Williams, Mervin Anthony Joseph, Colin Henry and Dexter James Williams.

Henry, the common-law husband of the accused, was treated at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital suffering from burns.

It is also alleged that on the same day and at the same location, Andrews murdered Junior Fortune, aged 30, and his three-year-old stepson, Josiah Toby. Fortune and Toby were found burnt to death inside the ruins of the two-storeyed apartment building.

A seventh charge was also laid against the woman. She was also charged with unlawfully and maliciously setting fire to a dwelling house with Fortune, Toby, Tony Williams, Joseph, Henry, and Dexter Williams in it.

When the matter was called, court prosecutor Inspector Kenneth Cordner said the prosecution was not ready. Defence attorney Orin Kerr said he was concerned for the health of his client. He said Andrews complained of dizziness.

He revealed that his client spent some time last week at hospital and asked that Andrews be properly examined.

Mc Nicolls asked, “Aren’t there doctors in the prison?” Kerr replied yes.

Mc Nicolls responded, “That is the first thing you do, write to the Commissioner of Prisons asking for your client to be medically examined. That is the first thing you should do.”

Kerr said Andrews needed urgent medical attention. “She has been complaining of pain in the head. I think she also needs to be psychiatrically evaluated. I am cautious asking for a committal (to St Ann’s Hospital).”

Kerr said he was concerned that Andrews could stay at the psychiatric hospital for a long time pending an evaluation.

Mc Nicolls decided that he would send Andrews to St Ann’s Hospital for an evaluation. He then adjourned the case to May 29.

Pending a report to the court, Mc Nicolls asked that witnesses be summoned so the inquiry can start. (NEWSDAY)

(via Guyana Chronicle)