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Attorney General Anand Ramlogan says the owner
of the three pitbulls which mauled Sylvia Roberts,
84, to death yesterday can be charged in her death,
although President Anthony Carmona has not yet
given word to make the Dogs Control Bill law.
The dogs belong to Roberts 43-year-old son, who
lives at her Tunapuna home.
In an interview at his Cabildo Chambers office,
Port-of-Spain, shortly after the incident yesterday,
Ramlogan said it would still be possible to lay charges
once Carmona made it law.
"When it becomes law that will be a possibility,"
Ramlogan told the T&T Guardian.
He recalled saying in last week s Senate debate on
the Dogs Control Bill that if another grandmother
was killed by a pitbull, her blood would be on the
hands of the Opposition.
The Opposition and some Independent senators
voted against the legislation, which was later passed.
The AG claimed, however, the Opposition attempted
to delay passage of the legislation.
Ramlogan said yesterday s incident had vindicated
the Government in its position on dangerous dogs
and called on dog lovers and animal activists to speak
"You never hear from them when these things
happen," Ramlogan said.
He dismissed the claim by some that pitbulls only
attacked people because of neglect or bad treatment.
Ramlogan said the latest incident should put that
false notion to rest.
"Pitbulls are unpredictable and have a demonstrated
propensity for violent attacks and that is why the
legislation is breed-specific," he said.
The AG said he could not accept calls from the
Opposition to table legislation to treat other dogs,
including pompeks and "pothounds", on par with
"There is no empirical evidence to justify such a
policy decision and the Government is very firm in
its stance that breed-specific legislation targeting pit-
bulls is very necessary," Ramlogan said.
The minister said citizens were being advised against
allowing a dangerous animal to be a threat to their
"We cannot allow the tail to wag the dog in this
matter," he insisted.
In response to fears that owners would abandon
their dogs due to the law, Ramlogan said dog pounds
had the capacity to handle the intake of the animals.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Mom killed by
for 25th MARCH, 2014
Exactly one week after a piece of legis-
lation aimed at giving the victims of dog
maulings additional protection while intro-
ducing stricter penalties for the dogs owners
was passed by Parliament, an 84-year-old
Tunapuna pensioner was mauled to death
by three of her son s pitbulls yesterday.
Sylvia Roberts, of Archibald Street, was
alone at home shortly after midday when she
walked into her enclosed verandah to speak
to a postman who was calling at her front
When she leaned over the verandah s ban-
nister to better hear what the postman was
saying, one of her son, Glenroy s, pitbull ter-
riers, which was roaming in their yard, jumped
up and grabbed her neck in its jaws.
As she toppled over onto a small flight of
stairs leading to the front porch, the two other
pitbulls in the yard quickly joined the other
in mauling a helpless Roberts.
By the time the postman and neighbours
contacted police and they arrived on the
scene, the officers found Roberts lying in the
yard with the three dogs standing over her
body, still repeatedly bitting her. The officers,
led by Insp Mark Maharaj, quickly drew their
guns and shot and killed the three animals.
A district medical officer (DMO) pro-
nounced her dead on the scene and her body
was transported to the Forensic Science Cen-
tre, St James, where an autopsy will be per-
The dogs bodies were left strewn around
the yard, with the responsibility of their dis-
posal being left to Roberts son, who was not
home at the time of the attack.
When the T&T Guardian visited the scene,
neighbours and curious onlookers expressed
shock over the incident.
"She was a good lady. She used to make
plenty jokes," Roberts s neighbour Roy Peters
Peters said Roberts would normally speak
to him from the verandah when he passed
on mornings and did not venture into the
yard when the dogs were not in their ken-
"You know 99 per cent of the time them
dogs are locked up," Peters said, shaking his
head in disbelief.
He said Roberts s son worked night shifts
at Carib Brewery and would usually let the
dogs loose when he went to work.
Roberts was asked to work a double shift
on Monday night and was unable to come
home to do his daily routine of returning
them to their enclosures yesterday, the T&T
Guardian was told.
Peters said he did not blame Glenroy for
having the dogs in the yard, however, as he
did so for security reasons.
"These days you have to have protection.
You can t have a gun in your house so at least
you have dogs," Peters said.
An onlooker agreed with Peters, saying: "I
can t blame the man for having his dogs. The
place dangerous. He can t have his mother
home alone by herself."
Yesterday s mauling of the elderly woman
was not the first to occur in the last few years.
On August 26 last year, 82-year-old Lillian
Bunsee was walking in her La Seiva Road,
Maraval, home when she was attacked by
her son s pitbulls.
In December 2008, 75-year-old Ann Kur-
ban-Ali was killed by three of her son s Rot-
tweilers at his Diego Martin home.
The Dog Control Act, which seeks to reg-
ulate how certain breeds of dogs are kept by
their owners, was passed in the Senate during
an early morning session last Tuesday.
The T&T Guardian understands the doc-
umentation on the legislation has not yet
been sent to President Anthony Carmona for
Once proclaimed by the President, the leg-
islation will introduce fines for owners who
failed to register their dogs who are deemed
dangerous and require them to obtain insur-
ance for the animals.
Sgt Ganga Singh and detectives of the
Tunapuna Police Station are continuing inves-
tigations into Roberts s death.
Attack stopped by police bullets
Owner can be
Glenroy Roberts removes one of his pitbulls which was shot dead by police at his
Archibald Street, Tunapuna, home yesterday. PHOTO: MICHEAL BRUCE
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