Accustomed to seeing her being physically abused, two sisters — aged three and eight — did not react when a close male relative began to beat and choke their mother Arisa David in a bedroom. It was when they were unable to shake David awake yesterday morning, that the siblings ran to their grandmother, telling her, “We can’t wake mummy.”
This was revealed by Debra David who demanded that the man who has since been arrested, be charged, tried and executed for her daughter’s murder. Speaking at her Limehead Road, Chase Village home, David recalled the horror she felt on seeing her daughter’s body on the floor in a bedroom shortly after 8 am.
“I had just gotten up from sleep and went to the toilet when my little granddaughter came and said, ‘Mama, come see what happen to mummy...we can’t wake mummy’,” she said. “My granddaughter kept telling me that she could not wake up her mother.” David accompanied the girls to her daughter’s bedroom, finding the body on the floor.
“When I went into her room, she was on the floor and I thought maybe she had just fallen off the bed. It was when I started to touch her to wake up that I realise her body was cold all over and I bawl out, ‘Oh God, no’.” She believes the man with whom David, 25, had a relationship with for several years was responsible for her murder.
David said that her sons had banned the man from visiting the house about nine months ago as he had a history of abusing her daughter. “My sons told him he is not allowed to come back here, but we only get to realise today that she used to let him come over while we were sleeping.” She said that her granddaughters would have been in the bedroom when their mother was killed.
“The smaller one told me he was choking Arisa on the bed. The two of them saw everything that happened. But they had gotten so accustomed to seeing that kind of behaviour from him that they didn’t react when they saw him choking her,” David said.
David, 56, added that Arisa was the second to last of her seven children. Looking on as other relatives comforted her grandchildren, a weeping David demanded justice. “I want them to bring back the death penalty and I want them to hang him high. And if they can’t do it, bring him for me, let this mother get justice...he can’t just take my child’s life and roam free.”
David said Arisa worked in a parlour two houses away from home, but was laid off in December.
The man who is said to be responsible for killing her was at the scene yesterday and had to be rescued by police as one of Arisa’s cousins tried to attack him. Dozens of relatives and neighbours gathered as news spread of the young mother’s death. Arisa’s death has pushed the murder toll in the first two days of 2018 to seven.
She is the first woman killed for the year. The body was removed to the Forensic Science Centre in St James where an autopsy later confirmed that David was strangled.