ATTORNEYS-at-Law Madan Kissoon and Melvin Duke will address the jury today in the septic tank murder trial in the hope of convincing them that their clients were not the killers of 45-year-old Colleen Forrester, whose body was found in 2007 in the septic tank of the William Street, Campbellville property where she was the caretaker.
Today leading prosecutrix Stacy Goodings, who along with Diana Kaulesar is conducting the case for the State, will address the jury on behalf of the prosecution.
The judge is likely to sum up the evidence to the jury on Friday, and then hand the case to them for their consideration and verdict.
Kevin O’Neil, one of the three accused who was charged with Forrester’s murder, was freed by the judge on a no-case submission by lawyer George Thomas on behalf of his client.
Attorney-at-law Thomas was able to convince the judge that the presence of the accused at the time of the crime was more in the capacity of a spectator rather than a participant.
Those who are still facing trial for murder and have led a defence are Ralph Tyndal, also called ‘Nick’, and Anthony De Paul Hope, also called ‘Papa’.
They are charged with having, between December 27, 2007 and January 6, 2008, in the County of Demerara, murdered Colleen Forrester.
Granddaughter, Nikita, and her 45-year grandmother Forrester had visited the three-bedroom home at 55 William Street, Campbellville in 2007, where Forrester was the caretaker.
No. 2 accused De Paul Hope, her great-cousin, was also residing at Lot 55. The girl identified him and the other two accused in the septic tank murder trial, who she said used to visit her West Ruimveldt home to do construction work.
The witness told Justice Roxanne George-Wiltshire and the mixed jury that on December 26, 2007, she and her grandmother went to the Main Big Lime on Main Street, where they spent about three hours before going to King’s Plaza on the same street to visit her sister, Janice Gravesande.
According to Nikita, “We spent about two hours there. We then left for William Street. On arrival there, me and my grandmother called ‘Papa’, but did not get an answer. I jumped the gate, which was locked, and walked up to the back step. I turned the lock and I went in the bedroom where I saw ‘Nick’ who appeared to be sleeping. I went downstairs and saw ‘Papa’. My grandmother then asked ‘Papa’ for the keys; ‘Papa’ jumped the gate and went up the back stairs, and came back with the keys.”
The witness added, “I went to the toilet where I saw ‘Papa’ hiding ‘Nick’ under a mattress. I then went downstairs to the front door; that, too, was closed. A few minutes later, ‘Papa’ called me and told me that my grandmother asked me to go and buy two pounds of sugar and a pack of cigarettes.”
The witness said that when she returned, there was water on the floor. ‘Papa’ told her that her grandmother had thrown away the tea water, and she then saw what appeared to be blood on the mattress and a towel.
According to her, ‘Papa’ explained that he had ‘dug’ his foot and had wiped it with the towel.
Witness said that she also saw what appeared to be blood on ‘Nick’s’ foot. ‘Nick’, she said, explained that he too had ‘dug’ his foot. She saw the wardrobe was turned facing the wall, and ‘Papa’ explained that her grandmother had taken out his clothes and turned the wardrobe around.
Earlier, witnesses had said that the woman, who was reported missing, was found in a septic tank in the same yard.
Police investigating the crime had arrested and charged three young men with the murder of Forrester.
One of the accused had, through his counsel, claimed that Elder Smith was a leader of a spiritual church of which Forrester was a member, and that Smith was the last person seen with her; the prosecutrix had summoned Smith to testify.
In his testimony, Smith said that Forrester did visit his church the last Sabbath before Xmas. The witness took pains to explain that by Sabbath he meant Saturday. The trial is continuing.
By George Barclay