Sixteen–year-old Abigale Gittens’ murder case begins


-Witness exhibited strange behaviour
THE hearing of the Abigale Gittens murder case involving accused Paul Bagot, called Paul Moore, began on Thursday before Justice William Ramlal and a mixed jury at the Demerara Assizes.
Highlights of the hearing yesterday were the prosecutor’s promise to the jury to lead evidence to show that the accused had been friendly with the girl (now deceased) for about two years, and the strange behaviour of a prosecution witness while giving evidence, according to a court official.

In her opening address to the jury, leading prosecutor Miss Rhondel Weaver, who is associated with Miss Shivani Balcharan, declared that although there was no eyewitness to the killing, she hopes to lead evidence to prove that the accused was the killer.
According to her, witnesses would testify that on September 30, 2004, the date of the alleged murder, the girl Gittens was 16 years old.
She also said that the doctor who performed the post mortem found that death was due to shock and haemorrhage caused by multiple stab wounds.
The Prosecutor went on to say that the prosecution would submit that when the accused allegedly inflicted the injuries on Gittens, he did so with the intention to kill or to cause her grievous bodily harm, and that his action was not the result of an accident or provocation.
The prosecution, she said, intends to call 11 witnesses to prove its case.
The accused, who has pleaded not guilty, is being represented by Attorney-at-law Mr. Hukumchand, in association with Miss Kamini Parag.
The first witness called by the prosecutor to testify was Desiree Shepherd of 46 Back Road, West Ruimveldt.
She testified that on September 29, 2004, she and her husband and two children lived together. About 23:30h she was at home with her husband and two children when she was attracted by loud screams coming from about two corners away.
As a result, she went outside and about three corners away she saw a girl bracing on a fence. Believing that the girl was her daughter, she went up to see, but the place was dark. A crowd was there.
Witness said that she and her husband took a taxi and took the girl to hospital.
At the hospital, the porter lifted the girl from the taxi, placed her in a wheel-chair, and took her away.
The strange behaviour complaint by the court official was when the witness said that because of the darkness of the night, she did not realise that the girl was not her daughter until she reached the hospital. She said that the girl was lying on the back seat, where she, the witness, was sitting, but she did not speak to her.
Under cross-examination, witness told defence counsel that although she was in the back seat with the girl, she could not say whether she was injured or whether the girl was her daughter.
In answer to the jury, the witness said that on that night, she did not see any marks of violence on the girl, nor was the girl screaming on her way to hospital.
Further hearing was adjourned to tomorrow.