Prison ‘may probe’ remanded shopkeeper’s death

CBarbados Today) Authorities at Her Majesty’s Prison Dodds may investigate the circumstances surrounding an inmate who fell seriously ill three days into remand and later died they said Friday.

Family members of shopkeeper Hamenauth Sarendranauth, 43, have questioned the circumstances which led to him entering prison in relatively good health and leaving in a wheelchair.

Sarendranauth was remanded after pleading guilty to opening his shop in February in breach of the COVID-19 lockdown directive.

The relatives have also vowed to sue the state and petition Prime Minister Mia Mottley after the businessman died on the day he was due to be sentenced.

Superintendent of Prisons Lieutenant Colonel John Nurse on Friday vowed not to engage in any public “tit-for-tat” with relatives over the highly sensitive matter.

But when asked if an investigation at the Dodds, St. Philip penal facility would be done, the prison chief said: “Any investigations that have to be done, will be done, Yes. That is all I can say on that.”

Thus far, there is no official word on Sarendranauth’s cause of death or when post-mortem results might become available.

Lieutenant Colonel Nurse declined to respond directly to allegations that prison authorities failed to inform Sarendranauth’s relatives that he had been admitted to hospital.

According to the prison chief, it would be inappropriate to discuss such a sensitive matter in the press while the family is in mourning.

“This is a time of grief, surely for the family and I don’t want to be getting into any tit-for-tat at a time when family members are grieving and they need to let that grief subside a bit, and then they can get their answers,” Nurse told Barbados TODAY.

“If the family members need to get that information, it needs to come through the ministry to us.”