Sep 29, 2017 News
A senior police officer has been dispatched to Berbice to investigate reports that one of the accused in the rape and murder of Leonard Archibald carried out numerous sexual attacks on other young men.
A release issued yesterday by the Force stated that Assistant Superintendent Oswald Pitt will also investigate reports that ranks failed to act on the complaints that came to them.
“The Administration of the Force notes the concerns of Leonard Archibald’s relatives and other residents of Brothers Village, East Bank Berbice, to the extent that the police in the district may not have acted professionally, based on statements in the press and other expressions, which seem to suggest that reports were made against, at least one of the then suspects and that the reports were not properly and efficiently attend to,” the release stated.
“In the circumstances, a Senior Officer is currently in that district conducting an investigation and it is expected that each and every citizen and relatives will take the opportunity to assist the investigator in his work.
“The officer is Assistant Superintendent Oswald Pitt and he can be contacted on cell phone number 661-5870 for the purpose of this investigation.”
Following the arrest of Hillary Edwards and Obediah Christopher for Archibald’s murder, residents alleged that one of the accused had attempted to commit similar acts on several young men and teens from various villages along the East Bank of Berbice.
The attacks appeared to have occurred at least eleven years ago.
During a visit back to the area, some of the victims told Kaieteur News the harrowing tales of how they were abducted, abused and sodomised by the same man.
One of his first victims, now 23, stated that he was just 12 when he was attacked while on his way out from the Sisters Village backlands.
“He grab meh and carry me till aback at Sisters and he hang meh pon ah tree and he lash meh cross meh jaw.”
The young man, who is now a father of two, relayed that he ran as fast as he could to his parents’ house after he managed to free himself. He was then taken to the hospital for medical treatment. The matter was reported to the Sisters Village Police Station, he said, but the matter “duck down.”
He claimed that his parents accepted a financial settlement from the parents of the accused.
A 15-year-old also told this publication that he was home alone when the same individual entered the family’s yard and began to pursue him.
“He come by me and run me up the step but me bin done reach in the house and lock the door but he binna try fuh haul the window and same time me holla fuh meh neighbor and he come over and the man run downstairs and get away”.
He stated that the incident took place in July and was reported to the Sisters Police Station. He was reportedly told by the ranks to come back if he try to do it again”.
Another resident who was also allegedly attacked stated that “(the killer) is wicked. He also tried to attack me in my own house five years ago but I didn’t want it. He was touching me all over and I started to shout and chase he out.”
The victim suggested that the suspect may have been “getting off” because of contacts he has with an individual in the police force.
And an 18-year-old told this publication that he too narrowly escaped death two years ago after he was abducted, tied up and dumped in the suspect’s fishing boat.
“I went about two villages from hay when I see he on the road and he stop me and ask me fuh help he put he spray can in he fishing boat.
“I go, then he hold on pon ma hand and tell me if I holla he gon kill meh and throw meh in the boat and push way the boat.”
He added that the bicycle he was riding was left on the public road and the suspect left him to retrieve it, it was then that he grasped the opportunity to escape by jumping out of the boat and swimming to shore.
He ran for his safety he said, leaving his bicycle behind. The young man stated that when he eventually reached home, three villages from where he was abducted, he relayed to his mother what had transpired and they both visited the Sisters Police Station.The matter was reported but the suspect went into hiding for nearly a month. With the police showing “little interest” in capturing the suspect, they decided to drop the matter.
Just two months ago, the same predator allegedly struck again, this time attacking a 19-year-old while he was fishing at Highbury Village.
“I was fishing and he attack me and hold me down, he pull down my pants and was about to pull down he own but somebody was passing same time and he run away.” The young man stated that he never reported the matter because he feared that nothing would be done by the police and he would be a victim of stigmatization.
At Archibald’s funeral, several villagers expressed anger at the police for their alleged inaction against the suspect.
Some, including the slain teen’s father, expressed the view that the 13-year-old would have been alive today, if the lawmen had acted on the complaints by the other victims.
Regional Chairman, David Armogan, who attended the funeral, said that those in authority should take some blame for what took place.
“Maybe if we had taken the precaution early we could have avoided this. We didn’t do that. Maybe we are all at fault, not only the police but the neighbourhood as well.” The chairman urged them to take back their community and make it safe again. “Take back your community; that is your responsibility, take it back from these rogue elements.”
Archibald, 13, had his life cut short after he was brutally raped and dumped in the Berbice River.
Hillary Edwards and his alleged accomplice, Obediah Christopher were remanded on Wednesday after appearing in the New Amsterdam Magistrates Court.
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