Son charged with Guyanese mom's murder
By Frederick Halley in Toronto
March 19, 2004
TORONTO Police have slapped a murder charge on 21-year-old Andrew Richmond, accusing him of the alleged murder of his 56-year-old mother, Joycelin Paul, who was found hacked to death after a fire at her Scarborough home here early Sunday morning.
Richmond, who is charged with first-degree murder, has been remanded in custody pending a bail hearing after appearing in a Scarborough Court on Tuesday.
He also faces another charge of failing to comply with a court order stemming from an assault on another individual.
Paul's body was discovered by firefighters after they extinguished a deliberately set blaze at her home which she had moved into with her son just over a week ago.
According to the Toronto Star, when investigators found the victim, she was almost decapitated, and death was attributed to multiple cutting and slashing wounds.
The woman's son has been in custody since the fire. He was charged after experts from the Centre of Forensic Sciences examined clothing and other items seized at the fire scene by police.
The decapitated body of Paul was found in a smoke-filled bungalow after firefighters put out a two-alarm fire called in by the victim's son around 11 hrs on Saturday. Shortly afterward, forensic identification officers scoured the house for evidence.
The late Paul, who reports said had returned from Guyana on a two-week vacation last month, had just moved into the house.
She was a divorced health-care worker who lived with her son, and the tragedy has left her family devastated.
Paul also reportedly worked in a clerical position at Toronto Western Hospital blood labs for many years until she retired, and it is believed she continued to work in a nursing home.
An autopsy on Sunday confirmed the cause of death as severe trauma from multiple cutting and stabbing wounds to the body.