A petition has been launched on the internet seeking signatures and calling for the continuation of a court case involving Sarah Lynn Augustine, who was accused of murdering her two children in 2010.
The petition, once it has enough signatures, is to be sent to John Baird, minister for foreign affairs of Canada, prime minister, Roosevelt Skerrit and Director of public prosecution, Evelina Baptiste.
It is asking that the matter be continued in court in Dominica and the minister for foreign affairs in Canada, where Sarah Lynn currently lives, “to enter into and enforce a specific agreement with Dominica for her treatment, evaluation and extradition for trial in accordance to the powers granted him under the Extradition Act Sec 10(1).”
The petition is being organized by Sarah Lynn’s brother, Dennis Augustine, who told DNO he is doing it for the protection of his sister, to honor the lives of the two children and to bring closure to the matter.
“There has been no closure, the trial was not completed there has not even been a plea,” he said via telephone from Canada. “So I don’t have a matter of opinion, it is a matter of fact. There has been no closure in this thing and the closure in this thing is the right thing to do morally and legally.”
On September 28, 2010 Sarah Lynn was charged for the murder of her two children, five-year-old Rachael Vigilant and two-month-old Sophia Vigilant.
It is alleged that she stabbed Rachael 45 times and Sophia 31 times.
The incident, which shocked the nation, took place at their Mahaut home in the wee hours of September 16, 2010.
Sarah Lynn was charged with murder but then Director of Public Prosecution, Gene Pestaina, decided to discontinue the case against her.
He said his decision was based on a psychiatrist’s report which said she was “mentally fit to plead and answer the charges against her” but also said she was “diagnosed as suffering with Postpartum Depression, a clinical illness characterized by a major depressive episode”.
He also said his decision was based on the fact that Canadian authorities agreed to provide necessary psychiatric facilities for Sarah Lynn.
Sometime after the incident, she was sent to Canada for treatment.
Dennis Augustine believes it is not proper that the trial was not completed and he believes now is the right time to have it done.
“So whether it is now or fifty years from now, it is the right thing to do,” he stated.
Augustine said he is not being vindictive or on a crusade against his sister.
“I have not one interest in being vindictive against my sister. I have a great deal of compassion for my sister,” he said. “It is my hope and my expectation if the medical and legal investment that we submitted to the court holds up, that she would be found not guilty by reason of insanity, she would be treated and measures will be put in place to protect society, protect her and any future children that she may have. That is my hope. I want my sister to live a long happy, prosperous, life where she can turn this tragedy into something positive. So there isn’t any sense of vendetta at all.”
Augustine said it is difficult to describe the impact of the incident on the family.
“You can imagine how losing two children you love dearly would affect any family and also the conflicting feelings of having the person who killed them is someone you love,” he said. “So I can’t possibly describe to you how it’s affected our family. We don’t need to be angry that this happened. I would like to see it finished and finished right.”
Sarah Lynn herself had said she wants to testify in court to tell her side of the story.
“I am not running away from justice,” she told DNO in an interview in August 2012. “But no one will let me talk. I cannot stand the fact that there is no justice for my two kids. I want a fair trial so everyone could move on with their lives.”
If you are interested in signing the petition click on the link below.