Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 9th 2013 Contents SASCHA WILSON
Minutes after the man who
raped and strangled her 16-year-
old daughter was sentenced to
hang yesterday, Surujdaye Lakhan
appealed for the resumption of
the death penalty.
She said so outside the San Fer-
nando First Assizes Court where
Paul Vincent earlier was found
guilty of murdering Radha Pixie
Lakhan and her aunt, Taramatee
Toolsie, weeks apart in 2005.
On his arrest then, Vincent, 33,
confessed to raping Radha six times
before strangling her with her
school belt. He also said he raped
Toolsie before he strangled her
with her bag strap.
When the jury returned with
the guilty verdicts after three hours
of deliberation yesterday, there
were collective gasps from relatives
in the courtroom, who began to
cry.Vincent, the father of one,
showed no reaction to the verdicts.
Asked by Justice Mark Mohammed
if he had anything to say before
he read the two death sentences
to him, Vincent calmly said: "No."
Lakhan, who was with her two
other children, Matie, 33, and
Sumatie, 30, said she felt happy
justice was served but said she
wanted to see convicted murderers
She said: "I think we should
have something like in Iraq, where
when you steal, they cut off your
"They should have something
like that here. It have too much
murders and unnecessary killing.
I think they should bring back
something like that, the hanging.
It will not solve the problem but
maybe it will ease it."
Saying she had spent the last
eight years praying for the out-
come, Lakhan said her husband
Rampersad died two years after
Radha, their youngest child, adding
her death was too much for him
"He took it on so much," she
Rampersad had identified
Radha s schoolbag and uniform
after her remains were found a
month after she went missing.
Agreeing with Lakhan that
hangings should resume, Toolsie s
son, Ramdeen Beepath, 33, said:
"They sit down in jail and taxpay-
ers just minding them. This man
take happiness away from me."
With tears rolling down his face,
Beepath said his mother was mur-
dered a month before the birth of
her first grandchild.
"The verdict," he said, "does not
take away the pain.
"It s hard. My mother, she was
a single parent, she was my mother
and my father. We were real close.
They say time heals, but I don t
know. It is still raw inside."
State attorneys Tricia Hudlin-
Cooper and Renuka Rambajhan,
from May, led a mountain of evi-
dence against Vincent. Apart from
the confession taken by Sgt Sean
Dhillpaul and Cpl Kirk Griffith,
the State also offered circumstan-
There were over 40 witnesses,
including police complainants Sgt
Inniss Minors, Insp Michael Wells
and Vincent s common-law wife
Leslie Ann-Bourne, his mother
Gene Campbell and other relatives.
Vincent did not give evidence
but called one witness.
His defence, led through attor-
ney Rekha Ramjit, instructed by
Michael Rooplal, was that he was
framed by the police who con-
cocted and fabricated the state-
Thanking the jury for its service
yesterday, the judge noted the trial
was one of the heaviest and most
demanding in several years.
In a brief interview afterwards,
Vincent s mother, Gene, said: "I
leave it in the hands of God."
She said she had spoken to Vin-
cent who was solemn.
Radha, a student of Palo
Seco Government never
made it home after school
on March 22, 2005.
Toolsie left her La Brea
Trace, Siparia, home for work
on April 15, 2005. Vincent
confessed to attacking and
dragging her into the bush.
Her decomposing body was
found three days later.
Vincent, who lived on the
same street, was arrested
the next day.
He later confessed to killing
Lakhan and on April 22,
2005 took police to a
bamboo patch near her
Spring Trace home where
they found her skeletal
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, November 9, 2013
Man to hang
for 2 murders
Victim's mom: Resume death penalty
The list is slowly dwindling: from
14 schools across the country that
were still closed since the term start-
ed, the number has been reduced
An Education Facilities Company
Ltd (EFCL) official said yesterday that
Malick Secondary, Malabar Govern-
ment Primary, St Dominic s RC
(Barataria Boys), Tunapuna Second-
ary, St Augustine Secondary, Mafek-
ing Government Primary and Dow
Village Government Primary were
yet to reopen, but work was being
"actively" done on them.
The official, during a brief phone
interview, said it is expected that
Malabar Government, Mafeking Gov-
ernment and St Dominic s RC
(Barataria Boys) will reopen by Tues-
Among the schools that recently
reopened is South East Port-of-Spain
Government Secondary School,
which was closed for approximately
two months for repair work to its
roof, ceiling and toilets.
Parents of students at the school
protested about the delay in the repair
work on October 18. A ministry offi-
cial said since reopening on Monday
the school has been doing well.
Asked about Malick Secondary, the
official said they were awaiting test
results from Cariri (Caribbean Indus-
trial Research Institute) and teachers
continue to stay away, but classes
have been going on in the evening.
The T&T Guardian received several
complaints about Tunapuna Second-
ary still being closed, but the EFCL
official was unable to give a definite
date on its reopening. There were
reports that a sinkhole had developed
on the school playground.
In a letter to the editor of the T&T
Guardian, politician Rawle Raphael,
who has a grandchild at the school,
said, "No school at Tunapuna Sec-
ondary School since October 23
except for fifth formers. No one can
say when it will be reopened. Some
say it is December or January 2014.
"Could the Ministry of Education
give a specific date so parents and/or
grandparents can plan accordingly?
After all, isn t education important
for the future of our nation s chil-
There were also protests at Malick
on October 29 by the school s PTA,
which said the school was infested
with mould. The school has now
been closed for approximately two
The official added that at St
Dominic s RC, part of the school that
was damaged by the October 11
earthquake and is to be demolished
in a week s time and rebuilt. The offi-
cial could not say how long the
rebuilding process would take.
Last week, EFCL chief operations
officer Kiran Shah said 14 schools
were yet to reopen and blamed the
delay on school principals not report-
ing problems to the Education Min-
Eight schools still closed
Convicted murderer Paul Vincent
Gene Campbell, the mother of
convicted murdered Paul Vincent.
Surujdaye Lakhan and her daughter, Sumatie, 30, outside the San
Fernando High Court yesterday after Paul Vincent was found guilty of
raping and killing her other daughter, Radha Pixie Lakhan. He also was
found guilty of murdering Taramatee Toolsie. PHOTOS: TONY HOWELL
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