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– family members express frustration over the handling of case
By Svetlana Marshall
Fourteen (14) days into the Preliminary Inquiry (PI) into the murder of the Henry Cousins, their relatives are concerned that key witnesses may have been excluded from the list of persons to testify before the Court.
In an interview with Village Voice Newspaper, Gladstone and Patricia Henry – the parents of Isaiah Henry, one of the two murdered cousins – expressed disappointment that the names of key witnesses may have been excluded from the list of persons to appear before Magistrate Peter Hugh at the Blairmont Magistrate’s Court.
While expressing the need for the Magistrate’s Court to be better equipped with technological devices to effectively facilitate virtual hearings, Patricia Henry said she noted with great shock and disappointment that Carlton George, Phillip Anderson, and Fitzroy (only name given) – the three men who found Isaiah’s body – were not listed to testify when the PI commenced on April 26, 2020.
The three men along with Patricia Henry’s niece discovered Isaiah’s mutilated body aback the Cotton Tree Backdam last September while another man found the remains of Joel Henry a short distance away but he too was not included on the list to testify.
The grieving mother said she along with her husband and other relatives have been repeatedly attempting to have the names of the four men included on the list but it has proven to be an uphill task, though reaching out to the prosecutor, the regional commander and the investigators.
“On Monday [May 3] they summoned us to go back to court; we checked the list again, there is no name on the list,” Mrs. Henry said.
Senior Superintendent Hugh Jessamy, who is attached to the Cold Case Unit at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at Eve Leary, could not immediately confirm or deny the allegations made by the Henry Family. He, however, confirmed that relatives of the two murdered West Coast Berbice (WCB) teens supplied him with the names of the four persons who found the bodies.
“I am in the process of getting the prosecutor at the court to see what he has in his file, and as soon as I am able to ascertain what he has in his file, then I will know if the information they are giving is true or not,” Jessamy told this newspaper.
The Senior Superintendent said in murder trials and PIs, it is customary for the persons who first came into contact with the murdered victims to testify, and failure to have them testify can result in many questions being asked as to why.
“In murder case who found body must give evidence, that is what I know, who ever found body must give evidence, that is what I know…Now, if these witnesses are not there then definitely, there will be some sort of question as to why, because somebody must find the body,” the investigator said.
Frustrated over the police’s handling of the investigation in the murder of Joel and Isaiah Henry, Mrs. Henry said the actions of the police thus far have only led to draw one conclusion, that is, they are engaging in a mass cover-up to protect the mastermind behind the brutal killing of the two teens.
“This is a big cover up. For instance, the guy that tell us the boys them done dead and throw away, when we go and search, we find these boys done dead and throw away,” Mrs Henry said while contending that he too is not among those testifying.
WHO IS THE MASTERMIND BEHIND THE MURDERS
Mr Henry said eight months after the murder of his son and cousin, the mastermind and other accomplices in the murders are still at large.
Mr Henry said while he is not ruling out that the three suspects – 20-year-old Akash ‘Monkey’ Singh; 34-year-old Anil ‘Rasta’ Sancharra; and 30-year-old Vinod ‘Magga’ Gopaul – had a part to play in the heinous crimes, he will not rest until the mastermind is brought to justice.
Singh, Sancharra and Gopaul were charged for the murders of the No. 3 Village teens – Isaiah and Joel Henry – in January, 2021, approximately four months after their mutilated bodies were discovered at the Cotton Tree Backdam, West Coast Berbice (WCB).
Mr Henry said he finds it difficult to believe that those three “junkies” would carry out such gruesome murders over the poisoning of a marijuana field, then move the bodies from Bath Settlement to Cotton Tree Backdam.
The autopsies revealed that Joel, who was 18-years-old at the time, had received 18 wounds across his body, seven to eight chops to the head, and defensive wounds in both palms from a sharp object. It was concluded from those injuries, he fell to the ground, and then received a chop to his back that severed his spine. That chop was 14 inches x 3 and 6 inches deep. There was also evidence that he bit his tongue, and his throat was slit.
His 16-year-old cousin, Isaiah, was also tortured. The teen’s spine was also severed and his wound was 14 inches long, 4 inches wide and 6 inches deep. Isaiah received several chops to his head, and his throat too was slit, almost to sever his head from his neck.
“I ain’t say these boys can’t do it but it is impossible for them to do it alone, they got to get a mastermind, they got to get the boss man and the other people,” the grieving father said as he questioned why the murders would carve out an ‘X’ on the forehead of Isaiah.
“Why would these three boys, Akash Singh [and the two others] would say they killed these boys for ganja and inflict so much of wound on them…why would the ganja men, put X on Isaiah’s face, strange boys that come in the community, put x on Isaiah’s face. Let’s get to the root of the matter,” he said.
Further, he said the location at Bath Settlement where 20-year-old Akash ‘Monkey’ Singh said the murders took place was extremely busy at the time, and the men could not have gone unnoticed. He said it was crop season.
“That place was a very busy area, and the people in that place are cow men going early morning to milk their cow, coming out on motorcycle or they come out with horse, fisherman, cane harvesters, weeders, it was crop time when these boys died, rice was cut at the same time, the rice field was not too far from there, how these boys would go to that place on the said day,” he posited.
During the initial stages of the investigation, the Guyana Police Force had received “technical assistance” from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in addition to support from the Caribbean Community’s Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (CARICOM IMPACS) and the Regional Security System (RSS). However, Isaiah’s father believes that had the police capitalized on the assistance the Argentine Team of Forensic Anthropology (EAAF) was prepared to offer, they would have been able to garner tangible evidence to bring the “mastermind” of the murders to justice.
Mr Henry said he can’t help but to question why the Guyana Police Force and the Government by extension did not see it necessary to fully corporate or capitalize on the help the Argentines were prepared to offer.
Both Mr and Mrs Henry expressed disappointment that President Irfaan Ali though promising to leave no stone unturned, would fail to ensure that the investigation is thoroughly done.