While waiting for his girlfriend’s mother to prepare a birthday lunch for him, off shore worker Damian Simmons decided to pay a quick visit to his mother’s house.
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Mother of two beaten to death
Devlyn Simpson, a mother of two, screamed for her life as a man beat her to death with a gas tank inside her apartment in Princes Town on Thursday night. But although police arrived within minutes, the killer managed to escape. Neighbours believe Simpson’s death could have been avoided if the police were more vigilant. The officers who responded the first time did not find Simpson’s apartment and returned to the station.
They were called out a second time. When they returned 45 minutes later, they found her lying face up, with her head smashed in. Her face also bore stab wounds and there was a burn to her left hand. She was naked and was apparently raped. Neighbours said they first heard her screaming around 11.30 pm. “I was inside when I heard someone saying ‘Ah go kill you!’ This was followed by screams, a loud crash and the sound of shattering glass. Then there was silence.
“I hid in the house and called my mother. The other neighbours called the police who came knocking on my apartment door. I did not know where the screams were coming from. I told them to check upstairs and in the other apartment. They did not go around the back,” the neighbour said.
Simpson’s landlord Carver Joseph said Simpson moved into the downstairs apartment six months ago. She has two children Darion, 10, and Shenelle, aged six. Joseph said Simpson was a good tenant who paid her rent on time. He said two weeks ago he saw her with a major burn on her arm. “She told me that she got burnt while cooking. I’m not sure if I believed her,” Joseph said. Simpson, he said, was originally from Brothers Road, Tabaquite, and drove a school bus. She also sold pies for a living.
“I did not know she was having problems. She was always smiling and it is really sad to hear what happened to her,” Joseph recalled. Another tenant, who requested anonymity, said she suspected Simpson was being abused. “She never talked about it but when I saw the burn last week Monday I asked her and she said she was cooking curry and she get burn.”
Neighbours believe Simpson was inside the apartment with her killer for about three hours before she was killed. The assailant could have fled through the back window as he left the front door locked. Police, accompanied by a close male relative, kicked open the door and found her spreadeagled on the ground. The entire house was ransacked. Simpson’s children were not at home at the time of the killing as they were sent to stay with her sister in Tabaquite.
Insp Sean Dhillpaul of the Southern Division Homicide is continuing investigations.