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Monday 23 October 2017
Crime and Court

Family of teen arrested say blame Richards for her death

Deceased Tabatha Richards

Family members of a teenager who was arrested in relation to the fatal stabbing of Tabatha Richards, and the wounding of the 44-year-old woman’s daughter broke their silence on the matter, saying that the entire situation was inflamed by the deceased, and other adults.

While relatives told Newsday that they did not know exactly how she was stabbed, they believed that Richards was stabbed with her own weapon. The family members of the teenaged girl, who is still in police custody, say Richards and a group of women literally dragged the teenager out of her Malick home to exact revenge on her after the teenager and Richards’ daughter got into an altercation. Relatives ultimately believe that Richards may have been fatally wounded while relatives and residents who came to the teen’s aid were protecting her from the gang that Richards rounded up.

“There is more to this stabbing than what has been put in the media so far,” said a relative who did not wish to be named, “However it happened, the entire thing could have been avoided if the adults did not incite the matter. Imagine, you have adults encouraging young children to fight and act violently… that is cruelty. I would like to know what the punishment is for adults who influence children into violent acts. There are child soldiers and child bandits, and when children commit these atrocities, it is the adults to blame, whether it is a gang leader or an errant parent. ”

Relatives said that Richards’ fatal stabbing stemmed from an altercation between her daughter and the 17-year-old girl, which happened last Thursday. The teenager and Richards’ daughter had gotten into an argument, which ended in the teen injuring her head. The physical damage was treated with stitches, but during the following days, Newsday was told, the teen was heckled by neighbours, who said that she was beaten up and there was nothing she could do about it.

On Monday the heckling led to a fight between the two teenagers. Richards’ daughter, whom the teenager’ relatives claim had a knife, and the teenager scuffled, and Richards’ daughter was wounded. The daughter then went to Richards, who called on friends and gathered outside the teenager’s house on Sixth Avenue, Malick, trying to goad the child out of the house to fight. Newsday was told that Richards was herself armed with a cable and a knife.

The gang of women then called a mutual friend to talk to the teenager, while they hid at the side of the house. When the mutual friend called her, she opened her door, and the gang of women grabbed her and pulled her out. Family members and neighbours came to her aid when they saw that she was being attacked.

From there, a huge fracas broke out, and Richards was stabbed in the commotion.

Earlier reports indicated that Richards was taken to the Port of Spain General Hospital where she died from her stab wounds.

The teenager is now said to be in police custody, along with two other female relatives, assisting with a police investigation into the matter. Relatives told Newsday that they went to the police station where she has been held since Monday, and gave her lunch and a change of clothes. The teenaged girl wept bitterly as she sat in the holding cell of the police station and emoted to her family members that she was feeling very distressed over the entire situation.

Family members have also taken issue with the fact that the child has been in police custody for almost a week, yet no charges have been laid against her. Investigators are currently compiling a file to present to the Director of Public Prosecutions, who will advise police on whether or not a charge should be laid against the teen.

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