Islamic scholar and Persian poet Rumi once said, “We are born of Love; love is our mother.”
It is love in the purest form that let 52-year-old Merlyn Outar lose her sight just to take care of her son David Outar, who was incarcerated for a murder the State did not prove.
In 2016, David of Foulis, East Coast Demerara (ECD), and Patrick Ross of Herstelling, East Bank Demerara (EBD), were charged and remanded to prison for the murder of Gafoor’s Manager, Terry Lackhan.
According to media reports, Lackhan, 55, at the time of his demise, was found dead by a neighbour in his home with a rope around his neck on July 21, 2022.
The neighbour, who had heard a commotion in Lackhan’s upper flat, became suspicious when she saw an individual running out of the yard.
She ventured upstairs to check on Lackhan, since calls to him went unanswered, and found his body in a room with a rope around his neck.
ARREST OF HER SON
In her hammock on July 22, 2016, at about 18:00h after a hard day’s work, Merlyn saw a vanload of Police arrive at her house with her son.
“I asked what was wrong, and by the time I opened the door, I [saw] they [pushed] David Outar. He was handcuffed, he had his haversack [on] his back and his button torn down, and they [pushed] him and didn’t speak to me,” a crying Merlyn recalled.
According to the 52-year-old woman, the Police took her son to the upper flat of their two-storey wooden house and ransacked the building.
“I keep asking what’s wrong, and Police officer [name withheld] said shut your mouth,” the still distraught mother recounted, highlighting that they also ransacked the lower flat of the house.
“He told me he had his pay. His payslip was there because it was a Friday afternoon, and they go with his photograph and somebody’s else name. I asked for his payslip, and the Police Officer gave me the envelope, but I didn’t check it at the same time, and by the time I checked it, half of the money gone.”
After much back and forth about which Police Station her son was being held at, she was able to locate him at the Ruimveldt Police Station.
“When I saw him, he was crying, and his whole skin was wet with water from head to toe, and he was screaming, and when I asked to talk to him, they didn’t allow me,” says Merlyn as she started to cry uncontrollably.
“[We went back and visited him] and when we go there, he was in the lockup, but it [had] a square thing that you could see he face and he [pushed] through his two hands, his face was swollen, when I tell you, real bad and he started to shout ‘mommy they beat me and put a plastic bag on me,, and when I ketch myself, they were throwing water on me,, and they beat me bad to sign some statement, and I had to sign the paper because they not going done beat me, and they going kill me.’”
David was later remanded, and according to his mother, “it wasn’t easy for me, it wasn’t easy, I [went] through a lot.” She went to the then Home Affairs Ministry headed by Khemraj Ramjattan but was allegedly turned away.
“My son is a good son to me, and the night before, when they said he killed any man, [where we are living was church], and he was in the church. Not because he is my son, I am compromising. I know my son didn’t do it.”
The distraught mother disclosed that she “kept running all over the place and all my money done” with the lawyer’s fee.
In fact, she revealed that she started to “take on” that her son is in prison, which resulted in her blood pressure always being at an all-time high.
“When I go to clean my eye, like two weeks after, I lose my sight. Each day, I am crying.”
FREED OF MURDER
On November 23, 2022, David and Ross were freed of the murder charge after High Court Judge Simone Morris-Ramlall upheld no-case submissions by their respective attorneys.
The Judge upheld the submissions and stated that the Prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case against the accused for the offence of murder.
Attorney-at-Law Stacy Goodings represented David, while Adrian Thompson represented Ross.
“I thank almighty God that the truth came out. When he got released, I hollered all glory and praises to you.”
A visibly still traumatised David recounted a number of events when he was allegedly beaten at the hands of inmates. In fact, he showed us marks on his back from what he said he received earlier in the year.
Due to financial constraints, the family is still contemplating slapping the State with a lawsuit.