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Cellar couple denied bail, to return to court March 17

Published:Wednesday | March 11, 2015 | 3:00 AM

The couple charged with negligence at common law, after a young woman was found living in the cellar of their house in Windsor, St Ann's Bay, were remanded when they appeared in court on Tuesday.

Gerald Campbell, 39-year-old labourer and father of the 20-year-old woman who was found in the cellar, and his common-law wife, 42-year-old Melody Murphy, a shopkeeper, will return to the St Ann's Bay Resident Magistrate's (RM) Court next Tuesday, March 17, to answer to the charge.

Investigators have indicated that additional charges may be laid against the two.

When the accused appeared in court on Tuesday afternoon, their lawyer, Peter McHugh, sought bail for them.

However, this was denied after investigators probing the case indicated to RM Peter Wilson that they needed more time to collect evidence. The request was granted and the new date set.

The issue of safety for the couple was raised in the event that they were granted bail, based on public outrage in their neighbourhood. However, McHugh indicated to the court that the two had alternative accommodation.

The couple were in court on a day which investigators indicated was the 20th birthday of the woman they are accused of committing the crime against.

The couple were charged after residents led police to their unfinished house in Windsor last Thursday, where the woman was seen in the cellar in subhuman conditions.

The discovery was made by children who saw the woman and alerted adults.

Police say the woman was discovered half-nude and showing signs of abuse.

Efforts to remove her were made difficult as she refused to be coaxed out. She was forcibly removed to the hospital by the police with the assistance of the Child Development Agency.

There were also indications that she was being fed from tins and boxes. It is believed that she is handicapped. Investigators are also probing if she was sexually abused.

Murphy, who was inside the house when the police arrived, was taken into custody. Campbell was later arrested at his workplace.