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….rejects confession by trio charged with the teens’ murder
By Svetlana Marshall
Relatives and friends of the murdered West Coast Berbice (WCB) teens – Isaiah and Joel Henry – picketed the Office of the President and the police Criminal Investigation Department headquarters on Monday demanding justice for the teens who were slaughtered back in September last year.
“We want justice! We want justice! We waiting too long! We need justice!” Joel and Isaiah’s relatives and friends chanted outside of the Office of the President as a few ranks of the Guyana Police Force kept watch.
Though the Police Force, earlier this month, charged and placed before the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court three men, accused of the heinous crimes, the Henry Family has rubbished the confession offered by one of the three suspects.
Iterating that the confessions must be corroborated with evidence, the Henry family is demanding that the Guyana Police Force conducts a thorough investigation into the murders. Such an investigation, they said, must result in the mastermind of the crime, as well as his accomplices, being placed before the courts.
“We are not only looking for people to confess, but we are looking for evidence,” Gladstone Henry, the father of Isaiah Henry said while describing the confession made to the police as “very strange.”
Twenty-year-old Akash ‘Monkey’ Singh, in his confession, alleged that the WCB teens were killed for allegedly destroying a marijuana field. Singh, in his confession, incriminated 34-year-old Anil Sancharra aka ‘Dan Pole’ and ‘Rasta’ and 30-year-old, Vinod ‘Magga’ Gopaul but the men have said they are being wrongfully accused.
“We went down there and we have never seen a ganja field. When the Joint Forces was down there with the helicopter plus drones, we were told that there was no ganja fields, so we don’t know where this ganja field come from,” Gladstone Henry told Village Voice News.
He said the Police Force should turn to regional and international crime scene investigators for help. “We are not saying that the police are not doing their job but we need more than confession,” he said, while pointing out that the remains of his son and nephew were discovered in a farming area traversed by villagers and not strangers. He said if indeed the trio had a part to play in the murder, they were more than likely acting on the instructions of others. “So we need the mastermind,” he said.
His wife, Patricia Henry told Village Voice News that the suspects should be asked to recreate the crime scene and provide key evidence critical to the case, if they are claiming to have committed the crime.
Further, she said if the police are claiming that the “junkies” killed Isaiah and Joel, they must explain why other people have been issuing threats to the Henry Family. “If they are the killers, why they would come in front of we and threaten we, run my nephew and run to go and kill my next son. So if they are the killers, why they do that? How they have the money to send people? No, I am not accepting that, I am not accepting that, I need the right killer,” the grieving mother said.
“We don’t need the small fish alone, we need the boss,” she added.
Joel Henry’s mother, Gail Johnson, also stood on the picket line. Johnson said while she is willing to accept that Singh may have had a hand in the murder, she is not convinced that the other two suspects did.
“The two from Black Bush we are not going to accept because we know is who. We need the righted killer. We need it!” Johnson said.
According to Johnson, not only did Singh confess, but he once turned up at their residence in West Coast Berbice “to speak out” but he turned back.
The bodies of Isaiah, 16, and Joel, 18 were found mutilated in the Cotton Tree Backdam, West Coast Berbice (WCB) 24 hours after they left their homes to pick coconuts. The murder of the cousins, last September, resulted in several fiery protests on the WCB as family, friends and villagers demanded justice. The three suspects are expected to make their second court appearance on February 2, 2021.