Point Fortin dad sentenced for dropping infant, killing him

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

– File photo

A Point Fortin man who confessed to dropping his two-month-old baby on the head during a fight with his common-law wife over a missing wrench has been sentenced.

Feroze Mowlah, 41, was sentenced by Justice Sherene Murray-Bailey on May 28, after she accepted a plea deal struck with the Director of Public Prosecutions in February.

Mowlah was allowed to plead guilty to manslaughter and sentenced to 21 years. After he received his one-third discount for his guilty plea, and the ten years and seven months he spent in prison on remand was deducted, Mowlah was left with a sentence of two years and 15 days to serve for his baby’s death.

He was initially charged with the murder of Andre Feroze Mowlah on October 13, 2013, at the couple’s home at Erin Road, Cap-de-Ville.

In a plea of mitigation, Mowlah’s attorneys Michelle Ali and Ayanna Norville, of the Public Defenders’ Department, said he was “deeply remorseful” for his actions and the death of his son.

In a handwritten letter to his former common-law wife, he apologised for the hurt and pain he had caused her and her family.

“No amount of words could fully convey the sadness that I have placed in your heart but I need to say from the bottom of my heart, I am very sorry. I wish I could change the hands of time and bring my child back…”

According to the facts of the case, Mowlah and his common-law wife were arguing over tools when he took up the sleeping child and said he was going by her father’s home.

He left the house with the infant wrapped in a blanket.

Ten minutes later, Mowlah returned home with the baby, but the argument between the couple continued and he suddenly dropped the child. The infant, the agreed facts said, did not make a sound when he hit the plywood flooring.

Mowlah took up the baby, put him on a bed and threatened to kill his common-law wife. He did not act on the threat, and she pushed him off and tried to get to the infant, but Mowlah prevented her from doing so and picked up the child up before she could reach him.

The child’s mother saw his head was swollen on one side and he was not moving.

Mowlah began crying and called someone, telling them, “The child ain’t breathing, like he gasping for breath.”

Relatives tried pleading with Mowlah to hand over the child so they could take him to the hospital, but he kept crying. Eventually, they were able to take the infant to the Point Fortin Area Hospital but he could not be revived and and was pronounced dead. The hospital’s staff then contacted the police.

Initially, the couple told the police Mowlah accidentally stepped on a loose floorboard and tried to hold on to a wooden brace, which fell and hit the infant on his head.

However, in subsequent statements, the child’s mother said Mowlah dropped the child to the ground three times before, twice in the house and once in some bushes.

She said when she went to the Cap-de-Ville police station to make a report, she was told to go to the Point Fortin station instead.

A relative told the police, Mowlah told her, “Moonie, help meh nah, I nearly kill my child, please help him. Carry him in the hospital.”

Another relative said Mowlah admitted, “I now kill the child.”

In his interview with the police, Mowlah said, “Under vexation, how she only blaming me, I get vex and I really drop the child on the ground. I didn’t say what happened before because I was frightened.”

An autopsy on the infant’s body said he died of massive head trauma.

Josanne Forrester and Jade Charles represented the State.