McAreavey case accused readmitted to hospital in Mauritius, says lawyer

Dassen Narayanen, a former security guard at the hotel where the honeymooner was killed in 2011, was being held in a police station on the island.

01 April 2022

A former security guard charged in connection with the Michaela McAreavey case has been readmitted to hospital, his lawyer has said.

Dassen Narayanen, who worked at the Legends Hotel where the Co Tyrone teacher was killed while on honeymoon in 2011, was brought before a district magistrate on Wednesday on a count of conspiracy to commit larceny.

Narayanen, 37, from Royal Road, Plaine des Papayes on the Indian Ocean island, was remanded in custody charged with conspiring with another hotel employee to steal a magnetic key card to the room occupied by Mrs McAreavey and her husband John to commit larceny.

Michaela McAreavey case
Former Legends Hotel security guard Dassen Narayanen (Paul Faith/PA)

He was being held in a police station in the south of the country.

Narayanen, who was admitted to a hospital on Tuesday on the first day of his detention by police, has now been readmitted for treatment for “psychiatric issues”, according to his barrister.

Vikash Teeluckdharry said his client was in foot cuffs and was under police guard.

The lawyer had previously expressed concern about the conditions Narayanen was being held under at the police station.

He claims that in the station his client was denied access to medication that he has been taking for mental health issues for several years.

“He’s been admitted to hospital for his psychiatric issues because he doesn’t have his medication and this is causing him all sorts of problems,” Mr Teeluckdharry told the PA news agency on Friday evening.

Michaela Harte found dead
John and Michaela McAreavey during their honeymoon (McAreavey family/PA)

Earlier on Friday, a spokesman for the Mauritius Police Force insisted that all Narayanen’s rights were being respected.

He highlighted that the accused had been taken to hospital for treatment on the day of his arrest.

“Please note that on the very day of his arrest, during the course of his interrogation he fell unwell and was conveyed to hospital for treatment,” he said.

“On the following day, on his discharge from the hospital he appeared in court and was remanded to police cell.

“The region where he is detained is only an hour from his residence. He is not subject to any mistreatment and all his rights are observed.”

Mr Teeluckdharry will bid to get the charge against Narayanen struck out during a bail hearing next week.

He has also expressed concern that police may be contemplating further charges, questioning why Mauritius’s major criminal investigation team (MCIT) was handling a larceny case, when it is supposed to only probe the most serious crimes, such as murder.

Dassen Narayanen court case
Mauritius lawyer Vikash Teeluckdharry is representing Dassen Narayanen (Vikash Teeluckdharry/PA)

After Mrs McAreavey’s killing, Narayanen was initially charged with conspiracy to murder but that was later reduced to a larceny charge.

That larceny charge was struck out in 2013.

Mrs McAreavey, 27, was strangled in her room at the hotel on January 10 2011.

The teacher, who had got married 10 days earlier, was attacked as she returned to her room alone and disturbed a burglary.

No one has been convicted of murdering the daughter of Gaelic football manager Mickey Harte.

Two former workers at the luxury resort, Sandip Moneea and Avinash Treebhoowoon, were acquitted of murder after a high-profile trial on the holiday island in summer 2012.

Mrs McAreavey’s widower John has said his legal team in Mauritius is keeping him informed of developments.

Mr McAreavey has pursued a long campaign for justice and in 2017 offered a two million Mauritian rupee (50,000 euro) reward for information leading to a successful conviction.

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