May 01, 2011 News
…confessed murderer paints ugly picture of his slain Guyanese wife
The relatives of murder victim Bibi Ifill are incensed at the way Barbadian officials are handling her case. They fear that her murderer – a Barbadian national – may not be punished to the full extent of the law.
Last year August it was reported that her body had been pulled from a septic tank at the rear of her home in Barbados. The retrieval was made possible by the confession of her estranged husband Mark Ifill.
On April 18 a pre-sentencing report was read in the Barbados Supreme Court before Justice Elneth Kentish and it left the relatives of Bibi Ifill in a state of agitation.
They were justifiably annoyed that they only learnt of the contents of the report through a news report rather than through the presence of a family member at the hearing.
According to Bibi Ifill’s sister, their aunt who lives in Barbados has been stonewalled in her efforts to get information on the proceedings or to even be duly informed of the dates that the matter will appear in the courts so that she can attend.
Even more distressing to the family are the actual contents of the report that was put together by probation officer Nigel Newton which paints the murdered woman as “domineering, verbally abusive and dishonest” according to Ifill.
Director of Public Prosecutions Charles Leacock, QC called the report “one-sided” since it only presented the testimony of Ifill and his relatives. The DPP questioned whether Newton had bothered to obtain a victim impact assessment from the deceased’s family members; Newton admitted that he “had tried but was unsuccessful”.
Justice Kentish adjourned the matter for another hearing in June when Newton is expected to present an addendum to his report.
The tragic story began on August 15, 2010 the last day that Bibi Ifill was seen alive. A few days after August 15, 2010 relatives and friends realised that the woman had not made an appearance for some time.
Calls to her work place confirmed that she had indeed been away from work for at least two days. At that point a missing person’s report was filed with the police who immediately proceeded to question Mark Ifill.
Ifill told them first that he hadn’t seen his wife for at least two or three weeks. He then told the police that he had taken his wife out to a deserted area in a place called Rock Dundo. After a search of the area produced no results the police returned to the husband who eventually relented and told them that his wife’s body was in the yard. Their search turned up the woman’s body in a sealed over septic tank hidden by a shed at the back of the house.
Ifill later signed a statement giving a full confession to the murder.
Early reports indicated that the relationship was an abusive one, to the extent that a protection order had been filed and that the couple had decided to go their separate ways. During the divorce proceedings Bibi Ifill apparently remained in her matrimonial home at the advice of her attorney.
Bibi Ifill’s sister, Zarfana Bacchus, expressed her concern that Guyanese people do not have enough representation in Barbados. She said, “My sister was a hard working individual, a Nurse Aide Graduate, all the storms my sister weathered was to provide a better future for her two teenage children, who are now left without a mother. Who ask if the man who murdered their mother is liable to get a lesser sentence or will get off all together?”
Bacchus lamented the fact that even after Mark Ifill confessed to his grisly crime and led the police on a wild goose chase before leading them to the discarded body of his murdered wife the courts were still concerned with reasons behind such an unspeakable act.
She called for justice saying that it wouldn’t bring back Bibi, her children would remain motherless and she would never get back her sister but perhaps it would bring some little closure to this gruesome chapter in their lives.
Her last statement was an appeal to the authorities to appoint a Guyanese consul to Barbados as soon as possible saying that Guyanese should not be disrespected and victimised
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