Crude oil prices continued to linger near the US$80 per barrel level on which this country’s budget is based yesterday.
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Watchman’s killers guilty of manslaughter
Two brothers and their cousin claimed yesterday they fatally attacked a watchman because he molested two young girls in the toilet of the Gasparillo Government Primary School on Carnival Tuesday 12 years ago. Accused Kirth Alexander, also known as Quincy, 44, and brothers Sheldon Walker, 35, and Sherwin Walker, 37, of Johnson Street, Gasparillo, pleaded guilty in the San Fernando Second Assizes yesterday to the lesser charge of manslaughter.
Justice Hayden St Clair Douglas deferred sentence until the defence attorneys give their plea in mitigation on February 7. The three men were charged with murdering 42-year-old Narine Babwah, of Barrackpore, on February 12, 2002. The girls were aged 13 and 14. The 12-member jury and six alternates, selected to hear evidence in the matter on January 8, were directed to formally return not guilty verdicts for murder and guilty verdicts for manslaughter.
In giving a summary of the prosecution’s case, state attorney Trevor Jones said Babwah was on duty on the school’s compound when he was attacked. His cousin Hazarie Deopersad who witnessed the attack made a report at the Gasparillo Police Station. Deopersad found Babwah lying face down on the road at the back of the school with his tongue out of his mouth. The three accused were arrested on March 19, 2002 at the Walkers’ home. They gave police written statements about the incident.
According to the prisoners, the girls complained that the watchman interfered with them when they went to use the school’s toilet. Sherwin said: “The girls came by me crying and said that a fat Indian man interfered with them. I pick up a bottle and I went with Quincy and them to look for the man.” In the statement, he said one of the girls pointed out the man to them. “Quincy started to cuff and kick the man. Quincy hit the man with a bottle and Sheldon take a chair and hit the man with it.
“The man started to run. Sheldon pelt a bottle at the man which mash up in the car park,” he added. Sherwin said he did not pelt any bottles although he had one in his hand. He said Quincy and Sheldon ran after him. “Quincy kicked and cuffed the man. Quincy took a rum bottle and pelt the man who later fell.”
Sheldon said the girls complained that a man “touch them up” and tried to kiss them. Sheldon said Quincy pelted Narine with a bottle, began cuffing him and there was a scramble. Sheldon said he only pelted Narine once with a bottle which struck him on the lower back. Alexander, aka Quincy, only admitted to clouting Narine and hitting him with a bottle. A post mortem revealed that the man died from head injuries caused by a blunt object. The accused first went on trial for murder in 2010 but it was aborted.
Alexander was represented by attorney Wilston Campbell, instructed by Giselle Landeau; Sheldon by attorney Richard Valere, instructed by Marissa Bubb and Sherwin by attorney Rekha Ramjit. Jones and state attorney Angelica Teelucksingh are prosecuting.