Wed | Dec 1, 2021

Elderly St Andrew man accused of shooting wife deemed unfit to plead

Published:Friday | October 22, 2021 | 4:36 PM
The case against Vivian Rainford, who is charged with illegal possession of firearm and wounding with intent, was called up this morning in the Home Circuit Court. At the time of the incident, he was a licensed firearm holder.

A 92-year-old man who reportedly shot and injured his wife at their home two years ago after allegedly hearing voices has been deemed unfit to enter a plea.

The case against Vivian Rainford, who is charged with illegal possession of firearm and wounding with intent, was called up this morning in the Home Circuit Court.

At the time of the incident, the nonagenarian was a licensed firearm holder.

The court was informed that Rainford was evaluated by two psychiatrists. 

He was deemed unfit to plea by Justice Lorna Shelly Williams, who then made an order for guardianship for Rainford.

The senior citizen's son, Errol, who had to assist his father as he made his way into the courtroom, was appointed by the court as his guardian after being sworn. 

A legal guardian is an adult vested by the court with the responsibility of facilitating the well-being of another person. 

Under the guardianship order, the son is being entrusted by the court to oversees his father's day-to-day care, take him for medical treatment, ensure that he is evaluated every three months by a psychiatrist and that a report is submitted to the court's registrar.

But, if at any point the elderly man is deemed fit to enter a plea, the case is to be brought back before the court. 

Additionally, his case is to be reviewed by the court in the next two years. 

The judge noted that she thought long and hard about Rainford's fate in light of his inability to enter a plea.

She said that she had to consider whether he should be remanded at the court's pleasure, or to send him to a psychiatric facility or to make a supervision order where he would be appointed with a permanent probation officer. 

But after considering his age and the fact that being restricted to an institution would not be in his best interest, the judge said that she chose to go with the guardianship order. 

Rainford was arrested and charged in July 2019 after he reportedly shot his wife with a .3 revolver at their St Andrew home. 

Attorney-at-law Matthew Hyatt represented him. 

- Tanesha Mundle

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