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DPP wants death penalty for 9-y-o’s murder - Mom happy with decision

Even as she stood over her daughter Nikita Noel being lowered into a grave less than two weeks ago, Nordia Edwards has still not accepted the reality that her little girl is dead.

The distraught 41-year-old said that her belly pain was still as severe as the night she found her only daughter's body on a dirt track leading to their home in Kew district, Hanover. Insomnia, a lack of appetite and numerous emotional breakdowns are some of the things that Edwards said have characterised her healing process.

Nikita, who was nine years old and the youngest of Edwards' three children, was raped and strangled on February 1 as she made her way home from the Esher Primary School in the parish where she was a shining pupil. Thirty-six days later the police charged Omar Green with the gruesome crime.

The barbaric act triggered widespread public outcry including from the Minister of National Security, Dr Horace Chang, who said he believed the act was premeditated and called for the accused to be charged with capital murder.

On Tuesday, inside the Hanover Circuit Court, the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions announced that it was serving a death penalty notice on the accused pursuant to section 3(1) of the Offences Against the Persons Act.

After hearing the news, Edwards expressed a huge sigh of relief while stating how restless she was at nights, tormented by painful memories of her wash belly's death.

"I have to be on medication just to keep my nerves calm. The doctor say it's stress and so they gave me medication for my nerves and to sleep, but I am still not sleeping," said the distraught mother, who also has two sons.

"But to be honest, I feel good hearing this, because that is what I want to happen. This gives me a relief now because I have not been sleeping and maybe I can sleep tonight because it seems as if I am getting somewhere," Edwards added.

The grief-stricken mother said she has not broken her morning routine of getting up early to get Nikita ready for school.

"I miss my baby so much. She is my only daughter, she a mi wash belly! I get up in the mornings and find myself still getting my daughter ready to school even though she is not here," she said.

Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn told THE STAR that her office felt compelled to serve the notice given the circumstances surrounding the case.

"Based on what we have seen of the material, the post mortem, circumstances, DNA report, as far as we are concerned we'd be obliged to do that," said Llewellyn before disclosing that a motion was initiated to have the matter referred to a High Court.

"I used my power under the constitution to stop the case in the parish court and initiate prosecution by way of voluntary bill of indictment straight to Hanover Circuit Court. We are at the stage where the law says if it is going to be an option, we are to serve it long before the trial. I am not going to second guess anything. We are doing what the law allows us to do, so that if it comes to a trial and sentencing, we are able to use or recommend that option," she said.

"If it reaches that stage and we don't do it, we can't use it. We don't have any way of knowing what the accused is going to do, but we know what the law is and we know the obligations that we have," she added.