Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 14th 2015 Contents KEVON FELMINE
After suffering years of abuse and death threats
at the hands of her boyfriend, Elizabeth Greene
and her daughter were left homeless after the jilted
man set fire to their La Brea home.
The fire which destroyed Greene s home along
Coffee Beach around 10 pm Friday also razed her
neighbour Jason James family home, damaged a dis-
abled pensioner s home and a visitor s car.
Witnesses said they saw the suspect, who lives
next to Greene, throw a flammable liquid inside her
home before setting it ablaze. Neither Greene or her
21-year-old daughter, Shaquila Joseph, were home
but James wife, Avion Ether Roberts James, and
their children---Janelle, 14, and Shernice, 12---were
forced to flee their house.
Speaking outside the rubble she once called home,
Greene said yesterday when she ended their rela-
tionship on Thursday, the suspect threw two chairs
at her while she and her daughter slept.
Later on, she was threatened that her house would
be set on fire and her head chopped off.
"He and I fell out on the Thursday night and I
was leaving. So I came here to pack my clothes.
While doing that he told me nobody can t leave here,
he will burn down the house and he will chop off
"I decided to get out and go by my family and
while I was changing my clothes by my nephew, the
neighbour ran over and told me my house was on
fire. I started to tremble because I was frightened,"
James, who was fishing when the commotion was
taking place, said he came home and met his house
ablaze and his wife crying on the beach.
He said his family has nothing to do with the
dispute between Greene and her former boyfriend
but because houses along Coffee Beach were built
close together, any fire would be a disaster.
"I ran inside my house and took out the gas tank,
I took my car out the yard and that was all. Nothing
else could have been done because everything was
on fire," James said.
The suspect, who left the scene soon, after was
taken to the La Brea Police Station by a relative where
he remained in custody up to yesterday.
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Despite being considered one of
the more depressed areas in the coun-
try, La Brea is lucrative for banking
services which it has been without
for over 15 years.
Apart from being a good investment
for the banking sector, a commercial
bank will bring relief to thousands of
residents who are forced to travel about
six miles to Point Fortin to access bank-
For several years La Brea was serviced
by Barclays Bank, which had changed
its name to Republic Bank Ltd.
PNM leader Dr Keith Rowley at a
public meeting in La Brea on Saturday
night promised to speak with the man-
agement of State-owned First Citizens
Bank, once the PNM is elected into
office, about establishing banking facil-
ities in La Brea. Rowley said he was
told that bank closed its doors because
However, La Brea MP Fitzgerald Jef-
frey believes the bank closed it doors
because of economic reasons rather
Jeffrey, who worked with Barclays
Bank in 1970s, said: "There were a lot
of hold-ups but the most crucial thing
was it was becoming uneconomical
for the bank."
He was not certain when the bank
closed but he said business in the area
was not doing well.
Now, however, La Brea s economy
is doing well with the Labidco and
Union Industrial Estates and it will
only get better, he added.
"I think it is very lucrative at this
point in time," said Jeffrey, who added
it was good business for not only one
but a couple of banks.
Additionally, he said, there were
about 7,000 residents in La Brea and
it was very expensive for them to travel
to Point Fortin because taxi fares were
Jeffrey said it was sad La Brea did
not even have an automatic teller
Brighton/Vessigny councillor Gerald
Debisette, who was one of the cus-
tomers displaced by the bank s closure,
also believes the bank closed because
it was no longer financially feasible.
"When the bank closed about 15
years ago," he said, "it was very incon-
venient and it still is, especially for
pensioners who have to travel all the
way to Point Fortin to do whatever
He said the building in which the
bank was housed at New Jersey was
still standing but needed to be upgrad-
ed and refurbished.
The police, he said, occupied that
building before the new police station
"The banking service is about dollars
and cents and not servicing the people.
Just now you will see and it will be
very sad with the development of the
La Brea industrial estate you will see
they (banks) coming back," he added.
Point Fortin South Western Cham-
ber Ricardo Joseph also agreed that a
banking service in La Brea was a good
idea and it would bring much relief to
Three families homeless...
Jilted lover in
South arson attack
La Brea ripe for banks to return Elizabeth Greene, right, whose home was
destroyed in an arson attack is comforted
by her sister, Marie, at Coffee Beach, La
Brea. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
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