Concern has been expressed that action has not been taken quickly enough to contain an oil spill which has been spreading across Trinidad’s north-western coast since early yesterday.
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Kidnap victim, 70, tells of stalking
An elderly woman testified yesterday she was stalked and kidnapped by a man while on a trip from the market. Joyce Ali, 70, gave evidence yesterday against Rachieal James, 35, who is charged with kidnapping and assaulting her with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. However, in cross-examination James’ attorney Ainsley Lucky put to her that James had only tried to assist her when she tripped and fell on the pavement. Ali said that was not true.
The State, led by attorneys Angelica Teelucksingh and Trevor Jones, opened its case against James in the San Fernando First Assizes on Thursday. It is alleged that the incident took place on December 23, 2007. During her evidence before Justice Hayden St Clair-Douglas and a nine-member jury, Ali asked for a sweater, which was provided, because she was feeling cold.
She recalled that around 4.50 am she left her Craignish, Princes Town, home and went to the Princes Town market to sell chadon beni, spanish thyme and ochroes. Ali said she was walking home around 5.30 am when she passed the accused, to whom she said good morning. She noticed him following her. On reaching the tasker road, Ali said, she ran across the road and when her left foot reached the pavement, she said, “all I feel was a hand across my neck and the other hand was holding my mouth.”
The accused, she said, told her he was carrying her to the Tasker Road to kill her. “I say, ‘Oh God doh kill me, I have plenty money, take the money,’” she added. The accused, she said, told her he did not want the money and started choking her with his hands. She pleaded with him not to kill her because she had a sick child. However, Ali said he dragged her for about 100 feet. “I was fighting up, like I did not have no strength, my body was just weak. Then I hear a voice say, ‘let go the lady.’”
She also heard another voice. Ali said the accused pushed her down but he fell on top of her. She said he ran and two men chased after him. They held him at an old building, tied his hands and feet and called the police, she said. PC David Simon, the charging officer, said when he arrived on the scene he saw the accused tied up and lying on the ground. He untied him, handcuffed him and took him and Ali to the police station.
The State, which called one other witness, WPC Natasha Haynes, closed its case. The trial will continue on Monday.