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COUPLE CHARGED

NALINEE SEELAL Monday, March 20 2017

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Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard yesterday gave instructions to ASP Suzette Martin and Sgt Harvey of the Homicide Bureau to lay charges of murder against a 39-year-old Sea Lots labourer and his 36-year-old Carenage girlfriend for the murder of Woman Police Constable Nyasha Joseph.

The DPP spent close to four hours perusing the police file before giving the instructions yesterday afternoon.

The couple is expected to appear before a Port-of-Spain Magistrate this morning charged with the offence. The DPP yesterday ordered that two other persons, a 24-year-old man of Sea Lots and another 34-year-old who were also detained in connection with the murder to be released.

The two other suspects were detained on Wednesday and Thursday last.

The Carenage mother of a onemonth- old who was charged jointly with the main suspect was detained on Wednesday last hours before the body of WPC Joseph was fished out between the estuary of the Caroni River and the Gulf of Paria. Police went to the DPP yesterday only with circumstantial evidence because they did not get any confession statements.

The main suspect was detained on March 10, one day after WPC Joseph was reported missing. He was taken to the Riverside Plaza office of the Homicide Bureau where he continued to deny any involvement in the murder of the WPC.

On Thursday, the main suspect went before a High Court judge to seek a writ of habeas corpus to have him released but the judge gave the police until today to lay any charge or release the suspect.

On Thursday last, two fishermen were trawling for shrimp and fished out the WPC Joseph’s body whose decomposing body was in a bag and attached to the bag was a rope and three concrete blocks. When the body was viewed by a District Medical Officer the killers tied a rope around the neck of the officer in which two foundation blocks were attached as well as an iron anchor. Her hands were tied behind her back with rope and a stone placed in her hands while the right side of her face was bashed in and disfigured.

An autopsy revealed the death was inconclusive however, it is believed that the WPC was smothered. A party of officers led by Assistant Commissioner of Police Harrikrishen Baldeo along with Region One Homicide officers carried out extensive investigations and detained six people during the enquiry. Two of the six were released on Friday last and other two released yesterday. A joint team of officers from the Portof- Spain CID led by Snr Supt Boxhill, ASP Ajith Persad and others along with Inter-Agency Task Force officers under the supervision of Senior Supt Simboonath Rajkumar also assisted in searches along with Coast Guard officers and the Defence Force.

Yesterday, residents of Sea Lots said they were relieved that persons have been charged with the murder of the WPC and that their lives can now return to normal. The two boat men who were released yesterday did not return to their Sea Lots home but instead went to homes of relatives to rest and relax after their brief incarceration.

The funeral of the WPC is expected to tentatively take place this Friday.

Yesterday Assistant Commissioner of Police Hackshaw thanked members of the Police Service, the Coast Guard, the Defence Force and even members of the public who assisted the police in bringing closure to this probe.



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