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No evidence of sodomy; detainee never complained of sexual assault- doctors

Senior Registrar of GPHC’s Department of Surgery, Dr. Navin Rambarran; Director of Medical Services, Dr. Sheik Amir; CEO Michael Khan and Senior Departmental Supervisor, Nurse Keith Alonzo.

Doctors treating a man for incarcerated inguinal hernia on Friday said they were never told that a policeman shoved a condom-covered baton up his anus and examinations have not proven such claims.

Up to 10:02 AM, 23-year old Colwyn Harding was seen shackled to a bed in the Male Medical Ward and under guard by a prison warden. He was sitting up and playing word game.

Senior Registrar of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation’s (GPHC) Department of Surgery, Navin Rambarran said Harding was being monitored continuously and most of areas of his body, including that mentioned in the media, have been examined. “He has had continuous monitoring and examinations over the period that he has been with us. That would have involved examinations of most areas including the areas alleged in the press. To date, we have found nothing consistent with this,” he said.

At the same time, Rambarran said to date the patient has not complained of being sodomised. Doctors said that given the length of time between the alleged sodomy and now, hardly any bruises would be seen.

The doctors stressed that they were never aware that Harding was allegedly sodomised until reading of the claims in the media last week Friday.

GPHC’s Director of Medical Services, Dr. Sheik Amir said none of the medical records contains any evidence of Harding stating that a baton was inserted in his rectum between November 15  and 19, 2013 while in police detention.

While the news conference was called to address the reported allegations made by Harding’s mother to the police, Dr. Amir ruled out the patient’s rectum being checked because he has not brought that to the doctors’ attention. “On what basis? Because the media has put it in the press?”

Private physicians from Davis Memorial Hospital were Friday due to meet with Harding and examine him with the aim of forming a second opinion.

Police Commissioner, Leroy Brumell said the Constable, who allegedly perpetrated the act, and eight other policemen have all denied sodomizing the man.

GPHC doctors said Harding was first diagnosed with a hernia on December 13, 2013 and referred to a clinic. He was taken back to the Accident and Emergency Unit of GPHC at 10:35 PM on December 17 complaining of severe pains, an increased swelling to the area and vomiting. It was then that he was diagnosed with strangulated inguinal scrotal hernia. Emergency surgery was performed the following day. He underwent a second surgery on December 27.

Amir said it was “difficult for me to say” whether the hernia could have been aggravated by an object such as a baton being inserted into Harding’s anus. “Specifically what you are saying, I can’t say if it does or not,” he said.

Amir acknowledged that if the detainee was beaten on his abdomen that could have exacerbated the hernia because any contraction of the abdominal wall increases the pressure within the abdomen and usually causes the hernia to come down. “I am not going to say it is because of a hitting on the abdomen.”

Chief Executive Officer of the GPHC, Michael Khan denied that the hospital did not have sufficient colostomy bags to collect his faeces and medicines. “I wish to state categorically that this is not true.”

Khan said Harding was up to early Friday sitting up and his mother was permitted to sit by his bedside. “I would personally be dismayed if there is an accusation of poor treatment by our doctors and nurses especially given the stated circumstances of his injury,” he said.

The Director of Medical Services said Harding was eating, has lost some weight due to sepsis and would need a definitive surgery in another three to four months in keeping with standard protocol. “We are sticking to that protocol. We are not doing anything different that would not be done anywhere else in the world,” he said.