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Cops: Majority of murders were gang-related

By RHONDOR DOWLAT Thursday, December 24 2009

click on pic to zoom in
Attorney Margaret Parsad, her throat was slit....
Attorney Margaret Parsad, her throat was slit....

CRIME went to the “extreme” this year with criminals callously committing their acts in “the eyes” of the police. The majority of murders committed of the 489 recorded — up to December 22, were said to be gang-related.

Last year, according to official police records, there were 538 murders in the same period.

There was a 58 percent decrease in wounding and kidnappings. They also recorded 463 guns being recovered along with 3,687 rounds of ammunition.

With respect to narcotics, police seized 90,200 kg of marijuana and 799 kg of cocaine.

The “murder mayhem” took to a “shockingly higher level” causing a stir among the citizenry when bandits hijacked 39-year-old Camille Daniel at Factory Road, Diego Martin and shot her dead when she drove into the compound of the West End Police Station in a bid to save herself from her hijackers.

In June 26, Daniel, who was the wife of a soldier, left her home at Finch Drive, River Estate, Diego Martin to pick up a friend at the VEMCO compound, Factory Road in the Diamond Vale Industrial Estate. As she and her friend sat chatting in Daniel’s gold Almera car, two armed men jumped into the back seat, one of them placing a gun to Daniel’s side, and ordered her to drive. She drove into the compound of the West End Police Station, where she was shot dead.

Two men — Xavier Thomas, 22 and Kristian Porter, 17, both of Richplain were charged with Daniel’s murder and are currently before the courts.

On October 19, murder accused Peter Garcia was assassinated while being escorted from the Rio Claro Magistrates’ Court to the Rio Claro Police Station by police officers. Garcia was charged on various offences, including murder. While being escorted from the court to the police station, he was shot dead by two men.

On November 12, gunshots at a health centre in Laventille sent children, waiting for medical treatment, and their parents scampering for safety.

The incident turned out to be a “hit” as the victim, Lennox Bellerend Jr, 23, was shot to death in full view of the children.

Another shocking incident was when ten-year-old Tecia Henry of Block 8, John John, Laventille was snatched while running an errand for her mother, Diane Henry.

Six days later, on June 19, little Tecia was found dead — her head stuffed inside a dirt hole, with her swollen body left protruding under a neighbour’s house, metres away from her home.

In July, 49-year-old Ricardo “Docs” Mc Carthy of Block Eight, Laventille was murdered in a track off Belle Vue Terrace, Long Circular Road, St James. He was a suspect questioned about the gruesome murder of Tecia. Another little girl who shot to the spotlight was eight-year-old Leah Lammy who disappeared mysteriously. Leah was dropped off to school by her mother, and told to travel home after school, but was never seen since. Police detained four suspects, and have recovered her cellphone. However, she remains missing.

There was more tragedy in Leah’s family, when on April 8, her uncle, Hugh Montano was found dead close to his home in Carlsen Field, Chaguanas.

On April 26, 12-year-old Adrian Richards was gunned down near to his William Street, Old St Joseph Road, Laventille home.

At the beginning of the year, on January 4, the decomposing body of 15-year-old Devika Lalman was found partially submerged in water. Investigators believe she may have been sexually assaulted and killed in a Warrenville ricefield in Caroni. Lalman was a Form Three student of the Cunupia High School.

On September 30, 18-year-old Mikel Dowell was killed instantly when his head was almost severed in a brutal attack. That same month a birthday party at the La Cabana bar ended in a bloodbath as five men between the ages of 17-27 were killed by two armed men. The dead men are: Glen Morris, 27, of Five Rivers, Arouca; his friend Damien Pounnette, 24, of Knowles Street, Curepe; Kieron Charles, 24, of Arnos Vale, Tobago; Ray James, 23, of Poinsetta Street, Macoya; and Hakeem Vickles, 17, of Belle Smythe Street, Curepe.

In November, four men collapsed and died after drinking homemade wine. It was confirmed the four died from poisoning. They were Winston Seelal, 56, his nephew Nazim Mohammed, 42, both from Rampersad Trace, Rochard Road, Penal; their friends Mahadeo “Lover Boy” Roopchan, 41, a welder/straightener of Debe Trace, Rochard Road, and carpenter Ramdeo “Boya” Jugmohan, 49, of Ramsingh Trace, Rochard Road.

In April, a mother and her two sons were brutally hacked to death by a relative at their Heights of Guanapo home.

After carrying out his horrific act, the relative fled the scene leaving behind the bloody bodies of Belinda Juliana D’ Labeiro, and her two sons, Juan, 11, and Jose, six. On June 3, the badly decomposed body of mother of four, Gail Joseph, of Mary Street, Siparia, was found floating among thick mangrove in the Manzanilla River, three days after she went missing. An autopsy revealed she was strangled.

On August 28, a man shot and killed his common-law wife, Ornella, as she sat with her lover in a car at St John’s Trace, Claxton Bay.

In July 11, 62-year-old grandfather of 18, Rudolph Contero, of Agostini Village, Rio Claro, was discovered naked, hog-tied and hacked to death in the Catskill forest in Guayaguayare. His body also bore chop wounds to the back and feet.

In September, popular pigtail vendor from Valencia, Lenford “George” Harry, 56, of Walnut Drive, Bregon Park, D’Abadie, was fatally stabbed in his back by an unknown man with whom he had an altercation. The legal fraternity was also plunged into mourning with a murder/suicide which occurred on May 25, when attorney Margaret Shanta Parsad, 52, was discovered dead with her throat slit in the living room of her home at Gordon Street, San Fernando.

Her estranged lover, businessman, Satnanan Maharaj, 48, was also found dead in the master bedroom of the house.

Internationally acclaimed sculptor, Madan Gopal, 66 was found badly burnt and wrapped in a bedsheet near his “stone castle” at Train Line, Endeavour, Chaguanas, in November.

In May, Suzanne Mitchell, a maid, was found dead at her employer’s mansion at Glencoe Estate.

Police believe that it was a hit on her life and not a robbery. Young aspiring footballer of the San Juan Jabloteh club, Dennis Williams, was murdered in May. Police said he was killed by a lone gunman.

Top Gang Leader, Sean “Bill” Francis, 41, of Vegas in Morvant was fatally shot 50 times on the night of April 27 while standing in front a shop with his brother. Acting Police Commissioner James Philbert said Francis was a prime suspect in several murders but escaped charges because witnesses were “mysteriously killed”.

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