Jean Damier Keny Cader, 31, was sentenced to 29 years in prison for killing 14-month-old Marie Aliyah Pierre. The judge, without his ruling, underlined the seriousness of the act, criticizing the accused's inaction towards his responsibility to protect the child. The case dates back to June 2021.

He had taken the life of a vulnerable and defenseless child in a fit of anger. Jean Damier Keny Cader, aged 31, was sentenced, on Wednesday May 15, 2024, to 29 years in prison in the Assize Court, for the murder of Marie Aliyah Pierre, aged 14 months. The little one was the daughter of his common-law wife, Anaëlle Pierre. This crime occurred on June 1, 2021, in Trou-d'Eau-Douce.

In his ruling, Judge Pravin Harrah will say that Jean Damier Keny Cader cannot expect the court to treat him leniently because he claimed he loved the child, but killed her in a fit of rage. The girl's screams had kept him from sleeping that day. The judge noted that the defendant had a responsibility to protect the child, but he failed to do so.

For Judge Harrah, the Court has a duty to protect society as a whole and in particular defenseless and vulnerable children. The seriousness of the offense, he said, cannot be overlooked. The murder of innocent children is an unfathomable act that goes against the very essence of humanity.

“If children are not safe in their cocoons and are subjected to atrocities in their own homes at the hands of someone responsible for their safety, we have reason to be concerned,” he said. For these reasons, he imposed a 29-year prison sentence on Jean Damier Keny Cader.

This 31-year-old mason faced a charge of “manslaughter” before the Assize Court.

The 30-year-old had pleaded guilty and was defended by Messrs Vyas Adheen and Somand Kumar Adheen. The prosecution was represented by Me Sharon Audrey Sandra Sunglee, Principal State Counsel.

Marie Aliyah Pierre was the daughter of the accused's concubine. The couple slept in a bed and the child on a mattress on the floor in the same room.

In the early morning of June 1, 2021, while Jean Damier Keny Cader was sleeping, he was woken up by the little girl's crying, which annoyed him. He then used his right hand to strangle the child. About five minutes later, he informed the mother that the child was unresponsive. The 30-year-old then handed the child over to his partner and simulated mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Seeing that the child did not react, the accused and his partner went to the police, then to the Dr Bruno Cheong hospital in Flacq, where little Marie Aliyah Pierre was declared dead.

Dr. Sudesh Kumar Gungadin, chief medical examiner, attributed the child's death to “asphyxia due to neck compression.” He had explained that the bruising on each side of the neck under the skin at the level of the sternocleidomastoid muscles is compatible with pressure on the neck in the case of strangulation. He added that for a 14-month-old baby, pressure on the neck for less than two minutes would result in death. Further, the Chief Medical Examiner had produced the medical report of the accused which revealed 'IVDA (Intravenous Drugs Abuse) Needle Scar Marks'.

Strong signal

In court, Jean Damier Keny Cader expressed remorse and apologized. He had admitted to being a drug addict and advised young people to stay away from drugs because “its consequences are disastrous”.

Judge Pravin Harrah notes that in the present case, the accused went well beyond simple “child abuse” and that he mercilessly took the life of a child. He believes that a strong signal must be sent. He also took into account the personal circumstances of the accused and the fact that he had pleaded guilty. The 1013 days that the thirty-year-old spent in preventive detention will be deducted from his sentence.

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