Anastacia Persaud, the niece of murdered Pegasus taxi driver, Rudrinauth Jeeboo, wept intermittently as she recalled her uncle going missing and then identifying his bloodied body at the Lyken Funeral Home.
On trial for the offence is Lorenzo Forde, who is being represented by Attorney-at-law Hewley Griffith in association with Rachael Bakker. Leading the State’s case are Counsel Shawnette Austin, Lisa Cave and Tiffany Lyken.
Based on reports, on December 27, 2013, Jeboo left his Campbellville, Georgetown home for work. His lifeless body was discovered the following day in a garbage pile at Cane View Avenue, South Ruimveldt, Georgetown.
Investigators who checked the phone records of the deceased found that his cellular phone, which was stolen, was still in use. It was traced to the accused who was detained.
Jeeboo’s car was subsequently discovered on December 28, 2013, abandoned at a road in Tucville Terrace, Georgetown with no number plates.
Persaud of Lot 25 Delph Avenue, Campbellville, Georgetown was called to testify on Wednesday when the trial of Forde continued before Justice Brassington Reynolds at the High Court in Georgetown.
Persaud testified that she along with her uncle, mother and two sons lived at the Campbellville address during 2013. She recalled that her uncle was a taxi driver employed by the Guyana Pegasus Hotel. Persaud recounted that her uncle owned two motorcars–a Toyota Carina and a Toyota Allion–both of which were yellow.
She said that her uncle who used both of the vehicles to ply his trade had irregular working hours depending on requests from the hotel and his customers.
According to Persaud, whenever her uncle was out working, it was customary that she and other relatives would make contact with him via his mobile phone.
The witness recounted, “On December 27, 2013 around 08:15hrs, my uncle was getting ready to leave our residence for work. I was at home,” Persaud said that her uncle was wearing a light blue shirt jack, a pair of dark blue pants, a pair of black socks and a pair of black shoes.
Persaud recalled that on December 28, 2013, around 03:45hrs she made checks around the house for her uncle and discovered that he had not returned home. She added that after realizing this, she called her uncle’s mobile phone and received a recorded message that the phone was either turned off or out of the service area.
“I called the hotel base and spoke to two of his (her uncle) colleagues but got no positive response. I called two of his friends at the airport and got no response from them again.”
Quizzed by Prosecutor Lisa Cave about how she felt, Persaud said that she felt anxious.
At around 08:30hrs that said day, Persaud said that she hired a taxi to check the various hospitals in and around Georgetown to see if her uncle was involved in an accident.
The witness stated, “I took a taxi and I was on my way to the Georgetown Public Hospital. On my way to the hospital my mom called me and asked me to return home. When I arrived there I saw three gentlemen with her (her mother) downstairs. (The gentlemen) introduced themselves as police officers.”
According to Persaud, the police officers asked her certain questions and told her that they needed her to identify a body. “We took a taxi and left for the Lyken Funeral Home. We waited for a while there, then the undertakers took us to a body.”
At this stage Persaud began crying; her tone of voice softened as she told the court she identified her uncle’s lifeless body.
“He was dead,” she said, adding that his clothes were torn and that there was blood on his shirt jac.
She said that she was taken to the Brickdam Police Station where she gave a statement and identified her uncle’s car which she said had black dust on it with the taxi service logo torn off. Her uncle, she recalled, was cremated on January 3, 2014 at the Good Hope Crematorium.
During cross examination, Persaud said she witnessed when police escorted the car into the station compound since she was seated oblique to the gate to the entrance of the police station. According to her, the police ranks who were “dusting” the vehicle informed her that they were looking for fingerprints and anything of evidential value.
The witness said that she observed ranks removing what appeared to be a strand of hair from the back of the vehicle.
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