Last update: 11-Dec-2013 2:37 am
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Pixie Lakhan murder trial put off as accused falls ill
The Pixie Lakhan murder trial was prematurely adjourned yesterday after the accused, Paul Vincent, complained of feeling unwell in the San Fernando First Assizes. Lead defence attorney Rekha Ramjit was expected to continue her closing address to the 12-member mixed jury yesterday. However, when Vincent, 34, of Siparia, began to complain about feeling unwell Justice Mark Mohammed adjourned the case. When the case was called in the First Criminal Court, Mohammed told the jurors about Vincent’s condition. “The law is, a defendant must be able to participate in his trial fully. All things being equal through the duration of the trial, he has to get medical attention,” Mohammed said, as Vincent sat staring from the prisoner’s dock.
Mohammed told the jurors that they would have to return to court this morning for the resumption of the trial. Ramjit, who is instructed by attorney Michael Rooplal, is scheduled to continue her address today and complete it by Monday. Vincent is accused of murdering Lakhan, 16, and Siparia mother Taramatie Toolsie, 40, in 2005. The State, which is led by acting Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Tricia Hudlin-Cooper and acting Senior State Attorney Renuka Rambhajan, is expected to give its closing address to the jury on Tuesday before Mohammed gives his directions to the jury.
Mohammed also told the jurors that a tropical wave was heading towards Trinidad today and they should be prepared. “It will be rainy and there might be flooding and thundershowers so keep that in mind,” Mohammed advised. The defence closed its case earlier this week. The State had called more than 45 witnesses in the trial. The prosecution is contending that Vincent abducted Lakhan on March 22 while she was walking home from school. He allegedly dragged the teen into the bush and raped and strangled her with the strap of her book bag. Her remains were discovered on April 22. Toolsie, 40, of La Brea Trace, was abducted on April 15. She was raped and strangled and her body was discovered three days after.
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