The gruesome details of how an Anna Catherina, West Coast Demerara businesswoman and her two sons were murdered, allegedly by their own neighbour, was detailed to a jury yesterday, when the former lover of the murder accused took to the witness box.
On trial for the capital offence is Abishai Caesar, 34, a barber, formerly of Tuschen Housing Scheme, East Bank Essequibo.
He is accused of the September 21, 2012 murders of Jennifer Persaud, a liquor store owner and her two young sons Afridi Bacchus, 6 and Jadon Ernest, 17 months. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge and is being represented by lawyer Maxwell McKay.
The trial is being heard before Justice Brassington Reynolds and a 12-person jury at the High Court in Demerara.
Zoey Phillips, the former reputed wife of Caesar, who is the father of her child, was called by State Prosecutors Lisa Cave and Seeta Bishundial. Phillips has been described as the main witness. The woman testified that she and Caesar lived together and were the businesswoman’s neighbours.
According to her, Persaud’s call name was “Jenny”. She said that on the night of September 21, 2012, she and Caesar were in there bedroom when he left and told her that he was going over to Persaud’s home to get some money because he was “broke”. According to her, she saw when Caesar, who was clad in a three-quarter pants, collected a small wooden handle knife and a pair of gloves from the kitchen area before leaving for the woman’s home.
She said that this was after midnight.
Phillips recounted that her ex lover gained entry into the woman’s yard through a crease in a zinc fence. She recalled that she went back into their bedroom and about a minute after she looked through the bedroom window and saw Caesar climbing up the stairs in Persaud’s home. She explained that she was able to see him because the woman’s home had clear windows. She told the court how she fell asleep and was awoken by Caesar, calling on her to open the backdoor.
The witness recounted that upon opening the door, she met Caesar who showed her a cardboard box containing several $20 and $100 notes which amounted to about $3,000. She said that it was then her reputed husband told her that he “had to kill Jennifer” because she woke up and saw him in her home and knew him very well.
According to the witness, Caesar told her that while he was stabbing Jennifer Persaud, her older son woke up and saw him and he also killed him and his younger brother. She added that when her reputed husband came back with the knife, it was covered in blood and his pants also had spots of blood. She recounted that Caesar took her to the seawall where he threw the knife into the river. She added that he discarded the gloves and pants in some nearby bushes and they went back home and slept.
But almost four years after the businesswoman and her sons were killed, Phillips said that she finally informed police that it was her spouse who had committed the crime. She stated that on April 23, 2016, she visited the Tuschen Police Outpost where she made a report against Caesar and requested a restraining order. She said the man was arrested the following day and taken to the Leonora Police Station where police held a confrontation between them.
Led by State Prosecutor Lisa Cave, Phillips said that during that time, she reminded Caesar that he killed Jennifer Persaud and the two children, but he denied and told police that she was lying on him. She, however, explained that she kept it a secret for so long because she was afraid of him, as he was very abusive.
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