British couple beaten, chopped
By INDARJIT SEURAJ and ANDRE BAGOO Monday, August 3 2009
SO HORRIFIC was the beating and chopping of 59-year-old British vacationer Murium Greene at her home in Bacolet Tobago on Saturday, that tears of blood streamed from her swollen eyes as she lay on a bed yesterday at the High Dependency Unit of the Eric Williams Medical Science Complex (EWMSC) in Mt Hope.
At the Intensive Care Unit of the EWMSC, Greene’s husband Peter, 65, lay in a medically induced coma, his head and face covered in cuts and chops. Doctors expressed concern that bleeding in his brain, caused by the traumatic injuries, had not stopped.
The Greenes were attacked at their 34 Bacolet Crescent, Bacolet, Tobago home on Saturday afternoon at 2 o’clock. Police believe either cutlasses or machetes were used in the attack. According to Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Nadhir Khan, Mrs Greene was seen on the roadway outside her home with wounds to her face, pleading for help. Scarborough police was alerted and Mr Greene was later found inside the house, with serious wounds to his face and head. The couple was taken to the Scarborough Regional Hospital where they were stabilised before being air-lifted to the EWMSC at about 9 pm. The couple who are originally from Reading in England are believed to be retirees, who for the past ten years, frequented Tobago where they own the house in Bacolet. They arrived last week Wednesday for vacation.
Up to yesterday, police had not ruled out robbery as a motive for the brutal attack and there were no suspects. “It’s too early to tell,” Khan said.
When Newsday visited Mrs Greene at the EWMSC, she was heavily sedated with doctors listing her as being in serious but stable condition. Mrs Greene moaned frequently. Her nose was heavily bandaged and blood streamed from her swollen eyes.
So severe was the attack that a portion of her jaw was severed from her skull. She needed four pints of blood to make up for the blood she lost while lying on the road near her home begging for help. A male nurse later held a mobile phone to her lips and she spoke softly.
At the Intensive Care Unit, Mr Greene, who is listed in critical condition, was placed by doctors into an induced coma because of injuries to his head. Doctors expressed concern about the bleeding in the brain. He is on a ventilator to assist his breathing. He sustained injuries to his head, face, eyes and nose during the attack.
In the next 72-hours, doctors will monitor their condition closely to see whether there is further bleeding in Peter’s brain. They will also examine Mrs Greene to ensure there are no infections in her wounds. They are currently under the care of a multi-disciplinary team also comprising an eye surgeon and anaesthetist, and will require additional reconstructive surgery.
In a release yesterday, the National Security Ministry condemned the attack and assured the British High Commission that the police was doing everything to apprehend the perpetrators of the crime.
“The Government of Trinidad and Tobago condemns the attack on (the) British couple,” the release read. “The Ministry has reassured the British High Commission that the police are doing everything possible to find the attackers.”
Yesterday the Police Service issued a release noting that details of the incident were sketchy. “At this stage details of the attack, such as descriptions of the attackers, are not available,” the release noted. Both releases spelt Mrs Greene’s first name as “Marion”, but Tobago police yesterday maintained that her name was Murium. Geoff Patton, the deputy British High Commissioner, yesterday said he could not confirm the couple’s names or give out any information about them.
However he said, “my Government appreciates the concerns expressed by the Trinidad and Tobago government. I know the family is receiving the best treatment possible. We are very grateful for that. What we do look forward to is the apprehension of the people who committed this horrible crime.”