Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 3rd 2015 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
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The investigation into the death of Brian Smith,
who relatives claim was beaten by soldiers and
dumped in the sea, took yet another twist yesterday
after the final report on his second autopsy was
The results of the autopsy, performed by pathologist
Dr Hughvon des Vignes, listed Smith s cause of death
as drowning but suggested it was "due to or conse-
quence" of blunt force trauma injuries he sustained
before entering the sea.
Des Vignes findings on Smith s cause of death were
consistant with those of his colleague Dr Easlyn
McDonald-Burris, who performed the first autopsy.
However, Mc-Donald-Burris did not identify wounds
to the front, side and back of Smith s head, which Des
Vignes had suggested contributed to his death. The
final report, however, contradicts claims made by rel-
atives about the findings of Des Vignes report before
it was completed.
The subtle differences in the autopsies had reportedly
delayed Homicide detectives in classifying his death,
as they are yet to find witnesses who could verify if
and who attacked Smith before he went into the sea.
In a telephone interview yesterday, after he collected
Des Vignes report, Smith s father Gregory said the
findings confirmed his initial suspicions.
"When I saw my son I had a gut feeling that some-
thing was wrong. I feel hurt now but I am relieved
to know the truth," he said. He also said he felt vin-
dicated for requesting the second autopsy.
"What is so amazing is that what he called blunt
force trauma, she said was a little scar on chin and
forehead. Tell me how it is you want me to feel now
as the father of this child?
"If I had depended on what the first pathologist
said this would have been swept under the carpet like
many more before this," he added.
In a press release on Tuesday, McDonald-Burris
defended criticism levelled against her, noting Smith s
autopsy was performed with "mature professional
consideration and appropriate unbiased skill.
Contacted yesterday, Defence Force civilian affairs
officer, Major Al Alexander, said he was pleased that
the first and second autopsies confirmed the cause of
death but maintained his organisation s members were
not responsible for the injuries identified by Des Vignes.
"Our soldiers did not hit him (Smith) on the head.
He probably fell down," Alexander said.
Investigations are continuing.
"School has now become a war zone."
That is how Sherwin Noel yesterday
described the Brazil High School, where his
16-year-old son, Jodel, was chopped by a
cutlass thrown by another student during
a massive school brawl.
Speaking with his parents at his bedside
at the Arima District Health Facility, Jodel
said around minutes to noon a big brawl
erupted in the school.
Jodel, who is in Form Four, said the Form
Three students appeared to be in the middle
of the fracas.
He said he was walking in the area of the
fight when a boy threw a cutlass in his
Jodel was struck a few inches above his
left ankle, a wound doctors estimated to be
three inches deep, deep enough to hit bone.
Jodel said that same boy who attacked
him was subsequently hit in the head with
a stone and wounded.
The teen said he did not know what the
fight was about but now he no longer wanted
to return to school. He had previously been
in a couple fights before but nothing com-
parable to that magnitude.
During the interview, the Noel family was
told the Arima facility could not further
treat Jodel and he would need to be trans-
ferred to the Eric Williams Sciences Centre,
Noel said he and Jodel s mother, Jamie,
were not informed of the fight right away.
He said they were called once by the school
but Jodel was the one who actually contacted
his mother to tell her about what happened.
Noel added while the details of his son s
treatment in the school were still unclear,
he understood an ambulance was called and
Jodel arrived at the Health Facility approx-
imately an hour after he was wounded.
Noel said he intended to take Jodel and
his sister, who also attends the school, out
of the institution immediately but he is
frustrated about where to send them.
Noel has five children and he now fears
for their safety.
"It s not making sense. Look at what s
going on in the school. There is like a war
zone," the senior Noel said.
He added: "There is only talk and talk
and nothing is going on in the school. The
teachers and the security officers are not
"Children do not want education these
days. Any other school they send him to
will be the same type of school.
"I don t know what to do. Best I pull him
out of school and put him to work or send
him to a trade school."
Noel said he hoped the chop wound to
Jodel s leg did not cause any permanent
damage as his son was a goalie on his
school s football team.
The T&T Guardian contacted the Ministry
of Education to get a comment on the inci-
dent last evening. However, the corporate
communication official said while they had
heard of the incident they had not yet
received any further reports and were inves-
tigating the matter.
Efforts to contact Education Minister
Anthony Garcia were unsuccessful as calls
to his cellphone went unanswered.
Recently, National Security Minister
Edmund Dillon pledged to work with the
Education Ministry to help alleviate violence
School a war zone, says dad
Young goalie hopes wound not serious
Sham Bissessar takes a photo of his wife Mary, right, and daughter, Samantha, in front of the controversial Christmas decor at Piarco
International Airport terminal yesterday. The airport authority was expected to change the theme of the decoration to a local concept
after complaints from members of the public. See Page A6. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
2nd autopsy on fisherman:
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