Man faces manslaughter trial over death of crash victimBy Neil Roberts
© Copyright by The Royal Gazette Ltd
Bermuda, February 18, 1999
The accused killer of road crash victim Catrin Schaefer is facing a trial for manslaughter. Mauritius-born Bissoonduthsing Ramchurn appeared in court for the first time yesterday - almost five monthsafter the 23-year-old German university student was killed. And he will now have to answer seven charges - including the manslaughter rap - relating to the crash on Kindley Field Road, St. George's. Ramchurn, who did not have to plead yesterday, was remanded on $5,000 bail until his next hearing before magistrates next month.
The 32-year-old chef, married to a Bermudian and living in St. George's, spoke only to confirm that he knew he did not have to plead to each charge. Turning to Ramchurn, Senior Magistrate Will Francis said: "This is a trial that is going to have to take place in Supreme Court. "You are here for charging and preliminary inquiries only." Mr. Francis told the court that Ramchurn, represented by Liz Christopher, faced seven counts relating to the crash on September 27.
Ramchurn is accused of manslaughter, causing death by impaired driving, causing death by drink-driving and causing death by dangerous driving. He is also accused of impaired driving, drink-driving and dangerous driving.
The defendant, who has lived in Bermuda for ten years, wore a black jacket and black trousers in court. He remained silent while Mr. Francis read the charges. And he was ordered to surrender all travel documents before signing his bail forms. Crown Counsel Peter Eccles, prosecuting, asked for the case to be mentioned again at Plea Court on March 10. Ramchurn has been answering to Police bail throughout the investigation by traffic officers. Miss Schaefer was near the end of a one-week study trip from Dusseldorf University to the Bermuda Biological Station for Research when she died in the crash.