Convicted killer wants Appeal Court to consider psychiatric report

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Justice Alice Yorke-Soo Hon.

CONVICTED killer Peter Radgman is seeking to convince the Court of Appeal to allow fresh evidence – a psychiatrist’s assessment of him – in his challenge of his conviction in 2019 for a murder ten years earlier.

In May 2019, Radgman was convicted of murdering Kooldip “Rishi” Maharaj.

Maharaj was smothered to death with a polo shirt and beaten to death with a crowbar at Radgman’s apartment at Allfield Trace, Lowlands, Tobago on June 13, 2009, after the two men had a fight. At the trial, there was evidence that Ragdman had been drinking before the incident.

Radgman’s lawyer Bindra Dolsingh has complained about the trial judge’s handling of the case and has also made a fresh evidence application to admit a report by Prof Gerard Hutchinson, who diagnosed him in 2022 with alcohol-use disorder.

Dolsingh has submitted it would be in the interest of justice to admit the report, because if it had been before the jury that convicted him, it was likely they could have returned with a different verdict.

Presiding over Radgman’s appeal are Justices of Appeal Alice Yorke-Soo Hon, Gregory Smith and Vasheist Kokaram.

On Thursday, assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Sabrina Dougdeen-Jaglal questioned Hutchinson about this report.

Hutchinson said he could not say how intoxicated Radgman would have been at the time of the incident, or the effect the disorder would have had on him.

Dougdeen-Jaglal said the evidence of Ragdman’s drinking was available at the time of the trial. Dolsingh admitted this and could not say why it was not introduced then.

She also argued the report was deficient on key issues relating to Radgman’s trial defences of provocation/self-defence and diminished responsibility, now being raised on appeal.

“Those questions remain unanswered and unaddressed. The report does not assist him (Radgman) in support of any of his defences and it falls short and should not be admitted.”

However, Dolsingh argued the psychiatrist’s findings could not be dismissed, as there was a “strong probability” Radgman suffered from the condition at the time of the offence.

The judges have reserved their decision on Radgman’s appeal.

Radgman was also represented by Chris Seelochan and David Carter.