Trinidad: Man held after 23 years on run

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Trinidad: Man held after 23 years on run

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) —   A man who jumped bail 23 years ago on charges of rape, buggery and robbery with aggravation has been found by the police.

Suresh Birju, 52, who has since changed his name to Ricky Bridgelal and his address, was arrested last week in Princes Town.

He appeared before Justice Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds in the San Fernando Third Criminal Court where he was remanded into custody for proof of his address and name to be provided to the court on the next occasion.

The matter came up on the Cause List a few times in the early years with the prosecution informing the court that his location was unknown. State attorney Stacy Laloo-Chong said the matter has been in abeyance because of the pending warrant for his arrest.

The file had to be retrieved from the trade zone, an area in the court where the oldest files are kept.

The victim, who is now in her 50s, has expressed her frustration to the court about the long wait for her day in court.

She was attacked in 1987.

Birju who was charged together with his uncle was committed to stand trial by a magistrate in the Siparia Magistrates Court in 1996.

Birju was granted $50,000 bail, but he subsequently absconded.

A summons was issued to the bailer to show cause but he has since died.

His co-accused is also deceased. The charging officer PC Whitaker has been replaced by a substitute complainant Sgt Sobie.

Birju’s attorney Jeevan Rampersad, submitted that the accused did a deep poll to change his name in 2015 and that he had been residing in Princes Town for about 13 years.

Rampersad was not permitted to make a bail application as the judge needed proof relating to his name change and address.

The next hearing is on November 29.

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