For three years, Tara Ramnath had to sit on her wheelchair and watch helplessly as a man kicked, cuffed and stamped his foot on her daughter Leisha Ramnath’s chest.
On Sunday, that brutality came to a familiar yet tragic end when Leisha, 39, was found dead in their Clarke Road, Penal home. It was only on Wednesday that an autopsy at the Forensic Science Centre, St James, confirmed suspicions that she was beaten to death. It showed she suffered manual strangulation and blunt force trauma to her head. Police are now searching for the 48-year-old suspect who had left the area since her death on Saturday night.
Ramnath, 71, lost both legs to diabetes. She told Guardian Media yesterday that she has been struggling to sleep since Sunday as the suspect had made good on his threats to kill her daughter and also promised to end her life.
“He said he would kill her and when he is done he would kill me and my son. He said he would kill me and throw me in the valley up the road,” Ramnath said.
A relative said the man was allegedly last seen beating Leisha around 8 pm at their home on the upper level of Ramnath’s house. Leisha would usually prepare breakfast but on Sunday when she did show up, Ramnath knew something was wrong and sent her son Mukesh to check.
Mukesh said when he went upstairs around 9 am he found his sister lying on a mattress in one of the bedrooms. Her face was swollen and red and one of her feet was in the air.
“My mother told me to tell her to come and eat a piece of roti downstairs but I took my foot and touch she foot. She foot was up in the air. I hit her foot and it did not go down. It done get stiff. She didn’t use to stay there, but when the man done with she, like he drag she and put she there on a piece of sponge on the ground. She didn’t answer and she didn’t move. She face was red. I come back and told my mother ‘Look yuh daughter dead,’” Mukesh said.
Penal police responded to a report but the suspect was nowhere to be found. Before he left, he took the dog, named Black Man, Leisha’s phone and photographs. Although the police have not been able to find him, residents said he has been seen passing through the village.
Ramnath said since meeting the suspect three years ago, Leisha had been subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment where she would be beaten every day. There were times when she would be dragged into the roadway and the brutality would be put on display for anyone passing to see. With Ramnath’s age and lack of mobility, she said she was powerless when the suspect dragged her only daughter in front of her to kick and cuff her in her face. He would also squeeze Leisha’s cheekbone, pushing the skin up to her eyes until it was swollen.
“Everyday, morning and night he dragging her from upstairs, bringing her in front here and beating her up, stamping on her chest. He used to shove her face, hold it and pull it,” she said.
Relatives said police responded to several reports of domestic disturbances over the years but would only warn the suspect. They said Leisha told him to go away on several occasions but he never left. Instead, he would beat her and threaten her life. Neighbours were also afraid of him, as they alleged he murdered his former lover and got away. They said he is also before the courts on assault charges for chopping one of Leisha’s friends. Neighbours said Leisha was unemployed and the man would give her money in the earlier times. They would also drink together until drunk.
It was just Wednesday that Police Commissioner Gary Griffith said there were no murders for 2019 that resulted from domestic violence. His comment came as he announced that a Domestic Violence Unit would be set up to two months.
- by Kevon Felmine