QUEENSTOWN, NEW AMSTERDAM – Sixty-year old George Campbell drew his last breath en route to the Georgetown Public Hospital yesterday morning, after he was beaten by a person unknown during what appeared to be a robbery attempt on his work site.
At the time of the incident, the Lot 27 East Canefield resident was a security guard attached to the R.K. National Security Network and was on duty at the Berbice High School in Queenstown, New Amsterdam.
With him was female guard Alibina Lewis of Angoy’s Avenue. Detectives from Division ‘B’ of the Guyana Police Force recovered what is suspected to be the murder weapon – a wooden chair with three legs at the crime scene. The suspect is said to be from the New Amsterdam area.
Up to late yesterday afternoon, police had not ascertained if anything was stolen from Campbell but nothing was removed from the Berbice High School.
Word out of Division ‘B’ further indicates that the intruder apparently scaled the fence to the front of the school (North Road) and attacked Campbell from behind. Investigations revealed that he was sitting under the bicycle shed at North Road and the female guard was in the guard hut less than 100 metres away and on the same side of the bicycle shed.
When she saw the attack she reportedly locked herself in the hut.
The perpetrator dealt the man several lashes about the body and head with the chair then vanished into the darkness to the back of the compound in the vicinity of Penitentiary Walk.
Public spirited citizens subsequently transported the victim to the New Amsterdam Hospital about 200 yards away. George Campbell was admitted to Ward Eight but his condition deteriorated and he was referred to the Georgetown Public Hospital. He never made it; he succumbed to his injuries during the journey.
Mr. Campbell was the third of ten siblings. At his sister, Hulda Chung’s home at Canefield, East Canje, relatives and friends had already gathered. He lived less than 300 metres from her.
Chung, 53, said that she last saw her brother on Independence night. ‘I got a phone call at exactly 4 am (04:00 hours Friday)…my niece called from Stanleytown asking if I heard if anything happen to George.”
Her niece related to her than a nurse friend from the New Amsterdam Hospital, in a telephone conversation, told her Campbell was attacked at his work location, sustained severe injuries to the head and hospital personnel were making the necessary arrangements to transport him to the Georgetown Public Hospital.
She described the now dead Campbell as a dedicated brother with high family values and a committed employee.
“He got a reputation of being never late for or never absent from work.”
Mrs. Chung said that she immediately made her way to the New Amsterdam Hospital. Along the route she contacted another sibling. “When we got there a guard took us there and after a while we were able to see him. He was unconscious so I didn’t get to ask him any questions.”
Family members decided that Sharon Campbell, a niece, would accompany him in the ambulance to the Georgetown Public Hospital. “Well the driver (of the ambulance) did his best for us to reach Georgetown. All he (George Campbell) kept doing was gushing blood from his mouth. The whole right eye was damaged. The right side of the face bash in. The eyes closed…all the time it running blood.
“When we reach the junction of Enmore (East Coast of Demerara) he took his last breath. That was about quarter past six (06:15 hours) because the nurse asked me the time,” Sharon Campbell related.
At the school yesterday, the other security guard on duty said that she saw a broken chair as well as blood stains in the guard hut, by the door to the hut and other locations suggesting that there was a struggle.
George Campbell resided alone but though separated from his wife, Diana, the two maintained a harmonious relationship. So far no plans have been made for funeral arrangements.
He is father to three adult children, all overseas, the youngest being 35 years old.
There are reports that the assailant kept demanding US currency from the victim but family members insisted he had no money.
Sharon Campbell said that her uncle walked through her yard every day and on Thursday it was no different. He left for work about 19:00 hours. “He asked me for a $100 to buy cigarettes and that was it; he jumped on his bicycle.”
At 09:35 hours yesterday, Mrs. Chung said that no official from her brother’s place of employment had informed them of the tragedy or even placed any call to extend condolences.
“This incident happened before midnight…I don’t think any effort was made to contact us.” She said the victim had a mobile phone with credit. Yesterday morning, at the office of the R.K. National Security Network at Forty-one Scheme in New Amsterdam, senior staff members were making arrangements to locate the relatives of the deceased.
An official who preferred to remain anonymous said that George Campbell resided alone and no one knew where to find his relatives.
The said official indicated that the details of the tragedy were sketchy, “Person or persons unknown attacked him, beat him up. His injuries were so bad the hospital transferred him to the Georgetown Hospital. We later learnt this morning that he died.”
The officials said that they were informed of the incident shortly after midnight on Friday when visiting inspectors called in to report. The victim was on the 21:00 hours to 05:00 hour shift, while Alibina Lewis was on the midnight to 08:00 hour shift. He was said to be stationed at the gate (entrance to the school at North Road) but was also expected to patrol the entire back of the compound.
R.K. National Security Network acquired a contract in November 2009 and as such, took over all the security guards from the Strategic Action Security. George Campbell was one of them.
The source said that George Campbell and his female counterpart were armed only with batons, “The Region don’t pay for armed guards…The Region don’t pay for radio sets.”
Chairman of Region Six, Zulfikar Mustapha, in an invited comment, expressed dissatisfaction with their choice of security, “We will terminate the contract with them. R.K. has not been providing the kind of security that we want. They have never made any complaints to us.”
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