Two Vistabella residents have been committed to stand trial for the 2008 murder of Joanne Gaspard, sister of Director Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard. Anthony Sankar, 28, and Marcus Gresham, 24, of Lambie Street were ordered to face trial in the High Court after Deputy Chief Magistrate Mark Wellington ruled that a prima facie case had been made out against them.
Female relatives of the men, who were present in court, broke down in tears after Wellington committed them to stand trial. The Gaspard matter was one of the first local matters to use DNA evidence as part of the prosecution's case. DNA experts, Craig Davies and Emma Jayne Westacott, both of LGC Forensics, Birchwood Park, Warrington, England, testified during the preliminary inquiry.
Gaspard, 36, a mother of two and senior Customs Clerk, died on November 13, 2008 after she was allegedly thrown off the balcony of her three-storey home in San Fernando. The State's case was led by Senior Counsel Dana Seetahal, instructed by Chris Selochan. The men were arrested by Homicide detective Sgt Wazir Ali.
On Monday, Ali died of a massive heart attack. Court prosecutor Sgt Hubert Skelly informed Wellington that Ali was now deceased. Attorney John Heath appeared for Gresham, while Subhas Panday represented Sankar.