Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 17th 2016 Contents VALDEEN NEPTUNE-SHEARS
"Just give me my son, I don t need to
know how, why or what really happened
to him, I just need my son for my peace,
for closure," pleaded a teary-eyed Maureen
Hospedales son Claude "Choko"
Hospedales, 38, went missing on October
29, 2011 shortly after a gig as a disc jockey
at a bar in Santa Flora.
"Justice is for God. I just want closure,"
Yesterday, as the T&T Guardian sat with
Hospedales and other family members at
her Beach Road, Palo Seco, home, police
activities continued at a pond at Alexander
Settlement, Santa Flora.
The pond, which averages about half of
a football field, is at the end of the oilfield
road which leads into the forest.
Police last night said clothing was found
as they sifted through mud and will return
to the scene today.
On Friday, police supervised the draining
of the pond and that exercise continued on
Saturday. A backhoe was still parked at the
Officers at the scene on Saturday said
that the exercise was in no way related to
any murder case.
But yesterday there was a buzz of activity
as crime scene unit investigators, some
dressed in white and one in a blue coverall,
wearing rubber boots, descended into the
muddy pond, with shovels as they began
their detailed search.
In a marked police vehicle, a civilian sat
in the backseat, guarded by two police offi-
cers. Two brown bags were gathered near
a tree with items believed to have been
recovered from the pond.
Claude s mother said she only heard about
the exercise through the grapevine after the
airing of the CNC3 s Evening News on Sat-
She said she was contacted by a relative
who asked if the news was related to their
missing son. While she said the family has
lost all hope for justice they pray that his
remains are discovered. She said the police
has not contacted her about the recent activ-
ity.The certified geriatric caregiver said it
took three years and the death of her mother
for her to accept that her only son was not
coming home. She said he had visited her
in a dream reassuring her that he was ok
and was now with the Lord.
It was harder, she said, accepting the
death of her 80-year-old mother, "she
grieved to death you know. She had no med-
ical conditions. For three years she waited,
looking at the door for Choko to come home.
She suddenly became ill and in three months
"Choko was her heart. He grew up with
her from baby. She was just as much his
mother as I was," she said.
An emotional Hospedales recalled how
her daughter, one of the last persons to have
seen Choko alive grew fearful and would
tell the family that she felt as though some-
one was always listening to her. Three years
after his disappearance Hospedales returned
to her profession as a caregiver and found
the strength to start her own business.
Mystery though still surrounds what hap-
pened on that fateful day. Hospedales said
for years the family got several conflicting
reports. Eyewitnesses, she claimed visited
the police station and gave statements but
all to no avail.
The investigating officers as far as she
knows were all transferred out of that station
within that same year.
The mother said her son had an altercation
with a villager over a parcel of land. She
returned the $5,000 downpayment to the
villager after her son went missing.
Additionally, she said that her son had
been complaining for weeks about out-
standing payments for DJ gigs he had done
at a bar in Santa Flora.
Claude was the father of three --- two
girls and one boy.
Monday, October 17, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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Gloria Charles, mother of one of the five T&T
detainees locked up in a Venezuelan jail, said that
she will be taking her son for medical treatment as
soon as he returns as he developed a kidney infection
during his two years and seven months detention.
On Saturday, a Venezuelan judge found the men
guilty on espionage charges but ordered their release
based on time served.
"I can t wait to see my son but he is very sick.
The doctors there were only taking his pressure, he
is not being treated for the kidney problem he devel-
oped while there and the bad toothache he is expe-
riencing," Gloria said in a telephone interview yesterday.
The wives of the other men also hoped for their
speedy return home.
Charles along with Dominic Pitilal, Asim Luqman,
Andre Battersby and Leslie Daisely, were detained in
Venezuela on March 19 2014 and later charged with
terrorism offences. The men claimed the had gone
to Caracas to seek visas for the annual Hajj pilgrimage,
in Saudi Arabia.
At recent talks in May between T&T and Venezuelan
leaders, Government officials asked that the matter
be expedited during discussions on repatriation of
people detained in each country on immigration
Soon after the talks, the terrorism charges against
the five were dropped but replaced with charges con-
cerning intent to commit espionage and to comment
National Security Minister Edmund Dillon on Sat-
urday confirmed that the five T&T men are being
released and sent home after serving time. Dillon via
a statement said the final hearing ended with a verdict
and sentencing at 1.30 am on Saturday.
"The judge passed a guilty verdict and a sentence
of two years, six months and 25 days was given."
Dillon said that was equivalent to the length of time
they had been detained.
"The judge ruled that they have already served
time and are now free. As such they will now be
processed and deported to Piarco at the earliest oppor-
tunity," Dillon reportedly said.
Evidence found in pond Wives hope for
Police get new leads in search for missing man
for 14TH OCTOBER, 2016
Five Trinis locked up
Crime Scene Unit officers get ready to search the empty pound at an oilfield road,
Alexander Settlement, Santa Flora, yesterday. (Inset) Claude Hospedales. PHOTO: KRISTIAN
Two men were shot dead outside Kin-
shasa Bar, Curepe, last night and a police
officer was wounded.
The shooting took place shortly after 7
Initial reports said the two dead men iden-
tified as, Jerome Bickles, 27, and Kevin Rama,
30, both of Curepe, had moments earlier
been involved in a scuffle outside the bar,
which is located at the corner of Watts Street
and the Old Southern Main Road.
Photos taken at the crime scene, showed
two young men lying dead on Watts Street
One fell face first and was bleeding from
a head injury. The other man, was lying on
his back, and blood was oozing from his
Police cordoned off the street as residents
and other people gathered on the scene.
Rama s wife, Crystal Ali, said she and her
husband stopped to buy a beer about 15
minutes before the shooting. She said they
met her cousin, Bickles, a DJ with 96.1FM,
who was playing music at the bar s annual
Eyewitnesses said there was an argument
at the event and Rama attempted to part
the fight pulling away Bickles. Shots were
fired and three people were hit.
Two shot dead at bikini carwash
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