Tiffany Clarke, 19, appeared before acting Chief Magistrate Priya Beharry to answer to the indictable charge of murder, yesterday. She was charged with killing her 25-year-old lover, Sonobia James.
A huge crowd of curious onlookers gathered in and around the court to catch a glimpse of the murder suspect. As she made her way escorted by a female rank into the courtroom persons gazed in amazement.
The very slender Clarke who was clad in a striped jersey and mauve pants, appeared to be nervous when she entered the courtroom, but appeared to relax after stepping into the prisoners’ dock.
According to police prosecutor, Inspector Stephen Telford, on February 26, in Georgetown, the accused murdered her lover Sonobia James, 25.
Telford alleged that on the day of the incident, the accused and James were at Red Dragon night club, when Clarke saw James talking to another woman. The accused apparently became jealous and approached her. An argument ensued and Clarke took out a knife and stabbed her lover to the neck. James fell to the ground and was subsequently rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) where she died upon arrival.
Hospital personnel then contacted law enforcement officers who apprehended the accused who was waiting nervously outside the accident and emergency unit.
She was told of the offence, cautioned and escorted to the station where she was charged and placed into custody.
Attorney at-law George Thomas who represented Clarke told the court that his client suffered years of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of the now dead James. Thomas further said that his client resides in Albouystown, Georgetown, with her mother. According to him, the teen endured five years of torment from her late lover. The lawyer noted that the scars on the accused body bear testimony to her situation. Thomas added that on the night of the incident, his client as customary was under attack by her lover, when the now dead woman received her injuries.
He explained to the court that Clarke at present is very remorseful and is grieving over the loss of her dear lover. Therefore the court can only show mercy by granting the accused an early date for the commencement of the preliminary inquiry.
The counsel added that his client was involved in a sexual relationship for the past five years with James. The murder accused was employed in the interior as a shopkeeper.
After listening to the facts of the case, Magistrate Beharry informed the weeping Clarke that she would be remanded.
The matter was made returnable on March 28.
Outside of the courtroom, the mother of the accused who was not appreciative of her daughter’s lifestyle was weeping uncontrollably and had to be consoled by friends.
The stabbing occurred early Saturday morning outside the popular “Red Dragon” strip club. The dead Sonobia James, also called Stacy James, resided at lot 46- 46 Rasville Housing Scheme.
Sources at GPHC told Kaieteur News that James died from a single stab wound to the neck. A close relative of the dead woman told Kaieteur News that the family got the news shortly after 05:00hrs Saturday.
Kaieteur News understands that the murder weapon was found at the scene.
When this newspaper visited the scene, persons were tightlipped. However one man who would frequently hang out at the club told this newspaper that James was seen speaking with another female. The man said that the suspect was inside of the club and came out and saw the two ladies chatting.
The eyewitness said that the suspect approached the two ladies and an argument between James and the suspect ensued.
The man said there was a scuffle but he did not realise that James was stabbed. He said it was only after friends started shouting “Stacy get stab” that he realised what had transpired.
The eyewitness said that James was picked up by the suspect and some of her friends and rushed to the hospital.
Kaieteur News understands that the suspect never really realised that James was seriously wounded.
During a visit to the woman’s home, neighbours said that the couple started living together some time last year.
One neighbour said that the two women would frequently argue and in some instances the arguments would become physical. (Tiffany Bowen)
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