Mother of man who threatened to assassinate Pres. Ali begs for mercy

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Marvin Richmond, the man who threatened to kill President Dr Irfaan Ali

Claire Richmond, the mother of 35-year-old Marvin Richmond also known as “Wakie” of Sealey Street, Golden Grove, East Coast Demerara (ECD), who was arrested for threatening to kill the President during a protest, is asking the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the Government to have mercy on her son.

The woman in an interview with this publication on Sunday explained that her son has been battling a mental illness for the past 22 years and did not threaten the President’s life while he was in his sound mind.

The man had threatened the President’s life amid violent protests on the ECD over the killing of 23-year-old Quindon Bacchus, a father of one. The threats were captured on a live broadcast by an Opposition Member of Parliamentarian (MP).

Police had confirmed that Marvin was treated on several occasions by a psychiatrist.
Following the threats, President Ali expressed that it was “unacceptable”.

“It has been brought to my attention by a number of stakeholders about a video…in which a direct statement was made that ‘we will kill the President’…there was no condemnation by the one who was doing the live broadcast at that moment…this is also unacceptable in a democratic society…but I want to assure all the stakeholders that that is a separate issue and that must also be subjected to investigation,” President Ali had posited.

Two days after the threats were made, the man was arrested by Police. He is currently hospitalised at the Georgetown Public Hospital under Police guard.

According to his mother, she was told by the Police that her son’s case is currently with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DDP) awaiting advice. However, she is asking those in authority to kindly have some sympathy for her son due to his health condition.

“Between April to now, I’ve been running at the station, after he was on the streets, asking them to help me take him into a mental health institution but I got no help. At one point, I went to Cove and John Police Station, and the Police told me that it is not their job, they are not coming to carry a mad man anywhere. One Police officer told me that if he carrying him and he do him anything, he will shoot him,” she explained.

The woman said her son usually gets worked up in certain situations and she would have to take him to the hospital to get injections to calm him down. She further stated that he was taken once to the Berbice Mental Institution where he spent some time.

The woman recalled that on the day of the protest, she went to drop the man’s son to school and after hearing that the protest was growing, she went on the road to look for him.

She said she did so because she knew he would get worked up in such a situation.
“When I go on the road, I found him. I told him when the media comes, he should not go to the front to say anything because I know these situations would trigger his condition. I was monitoring him all the time. Not knowing the boy done say what he had to say…”.

“When I come home people started sending the thing to me and I got sick right away. It’s only now my son start coming on the road. He locked himself inside for a whole year [last year] and was peeping through a crease. He doesn’t do these things intentionally. When he gets better, he does feel so embarrassed he doesn’t even want to come outside,” she explained.

The anxious mother said seeing the comments from the public on social media about her son was very painful to read because according to her, no one knows the truth behind her son’s condition.

“Nobody knows what I have been going through for over 20 years. It isn’t easy. I don’t have a life because I have to take care of my son and grandson. He can’t work anywhere because of his condition. I told the Police that he has a mental illness.”

She said even though she knows the severity of the threat he made, she is still praying and asking that the law have some mercy on him. Following the threats, several organisations, including the Private Sector Commission, condemned the attack.