The young couple charged with aggravated assault in the death of their infant daughter once again stayed out of the courtroom yesterday, and again their case has been delayed.
Ashiqur Rahman and Jane Gomes, both 23, stayed in holding cells instead of standing in Halifax provincial court, where the matter was adjourned until Oct. 14. This is their third court date since police arrested and charged them July 25.
Although accused of aggravated assault, Halifax Regional Police have said those charges could be upgraded because the seven-week-old baby died of her injuries at the IWK Health Centre a couple of days after the initial charges were laid.
Police spokesman Const. Brian Palmeter said as of last week no changes had been made to any charges, adding “there was no indication when, if any, changes would come.”
“What we’ve been told is that they (the Crown) will notify us as soon as a decision is made, at which time we’ll release it,” he said yesterday. “We’re still waiting for all the results from the autopsy to come in.”
Defence lawyer Peter Mancini said legal aid is in the process of finding counsel to represent the couple. He said it’s hoped both Rahman and Gomes will be able to enter pleas at next month's appearance.
The court also upheld an order prohibiting contact between the pair, which was enacted at their last court appearance Aug. 12.
Rahman and Gomes are both from Bangladesh and have been staying in Canada on student visas. They had studied computer science at Acadia University in Wolfville, but were most recently living in a room above The Good Food Emporium restaurant on Halifax’s Gottingen Street, which is where they were when they called 9-1-1 to report their baby was seriously injured.
-with files from The Canadian Press