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Jilted dad kills self, son

Published: 
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Death by fire...
A distressed Trevor Joseph looks at the burnt home where his brother Christopher Joseph and nephew Jelani perished in a fire on Saturday morning at Semper Street, Gasparillo. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH

After failing to reconcile with his wife, Gasparillo father Christopher Joseph set his home on fire, killing himself and his eldest son, a 17-year-old, yesterday morning. Joseph’s other son, a 16-year-old, narrowly escaped death by jumping through a window of the blazing house. Joseph, a 40-year-old welder, had first gone to his wife Therika Mc Cain’s workplace at Chaguanas, on Friday night, and pleaded with her to return home.

 

 

When she refused, Joseph went to his mother-in-law’s home at Pleasantville, where his sons were staying and took them back to their Semper Street, home at Gasparillo. Joseph’s mother Maureen Thomas told the Sunday Guardian that Mc Cain called and told her that he had threatened to kill the children.

 

“Last night, I was in my bed sleeping and Therika called me and said Christopher said he was going to end it; he was going to kill those children. So I changed my clothes and while I was leaving, Christopher called me and asked what Therika told me. 

 

 

“I did not want him to know, so I told him I was coming across. By the time I ran down there, I smelled pitch oil. As I pulled the door, flames burned my feet. I told those children to jump through the window and the 16-year-old jumped first. The older son jumped after, but was already on fire,” Thomas said.

 

When officers—including ASP Mohammed, Inspectors Gajadhar and Yearwood, and Cpl Ramdial—arrived, the wooden house was already ablaze. After extinguishing the fire, officers found the charred remains of the father, Joseph, in the rubble. Thomas and her two grandchildren were taken to the San Fernando General Hospital. The older son, a Form Five student, died shortly after 9 am. He was supposed to write the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination next year. 

 

The younger son was in hospital up to late last night in serious condition. Speaking at her Caratal Road, home yesterday, the grieving Thomas said Joseph and Mc Cain separated several weeks ago. She said Mc Cain had called Joseph’s mobile phone and when a woman answered, the married couple had a heated argument; Mc Cain then left. She said the two had many arguments. Thomas would always warn her son against harming his wife, she said.

 

Joseph was a welder at the Chancery Lane Teaching Hospital, San Fernando. “This is my brother, you know, but I don’t know what got into this man’s head. This is total madness to me. I am not saying I am glad he passed, but I would have felt better if he had killed himself alone and not involved the children,” his brother Trevor said.

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