Friday, February 23, 2018

18 photos tendered into evidence

PHOTOGRAPHS of the pool table on which Chaguanas businesswoman Vindra Naipaul-Coolman was allegedly murdered were among a number of photos tendered into evidence during the murder trial at the Port of Spain High Court yesterday.

Also tendered into evidence were images of a gardening fork and a shovel which were found in a two-storey dwelling house at La Puerta, Diego Martin, in May of 2007, as police continued their search for Naipaul-Coolman who was abducted from her home on December 19, 2006.

Attorneys prosecu­ting the case are see­king to prove she was shot dead while sitting on the pool table nine days after the abduction, and her body dismembered before being temporarily buri­ed on a hilly and forested area.

During yesterday’s hearing before Justice Malcolm Holdip and a 12-member jury, with five alternate jurors, at the Second Criminal Court of the Hall of Justice, three State witnesses were led into evidence.

The witnesses were PC Davis Seetaram and acting Sgts Rosemary Hosford and Sheldine Bacchus.

During his testimony, Seetaram, who was led into evidence by senior State attorney Joy Balkaran, said on the morning of May 9, 2007, he went to La Puerta, where he met with Bacchus before she pointed out the two-storey structure to him and gave him certain instructions.

Seetaram said he entered the house in the company of Bacchus and took several photographs, including 11 cellular phones, a quantity of assorted jewelry, the garden fork and shovel, among other items.

The officer said two days later, he was called to the Old Police Headquarters at the corner of Sackville and Edward Streets, Port of Spain, where the pool table, which was loaded on the tray of a van, was also pointed out to him by a senior officer, followed by him taking three photographs of the table.

In all, 18 photographs were tendered into evidence yesterday.

Under cross-examination by defence attorney Mario Merritt, Seeta­ram said the table did not appear to be used as “a meat board” nor did it appear to be stained with blood. The officer said he was unaware where the table was found or its current location.

Hosford, a police fingerprint expert, testified she too went to La Puerta, Diego Martin, on the morning of May 9, 2007.

While there, Hosford said she entered the small red-brick house in which the State is contending Naipaul-Coolman was killed and examined the house for anything of evidential value.

Hosford said she identified and packaged several items which were later examined between the period May 9 and 22 for fingerprint impressions, but none were found.

The evidence in chief of acting Sgt Bacchus, a homicide detective, was cut short after an objection was raised by Merritt.

During the early part of her testimony, Bacchus said she was also one of the officers who went to La Puerta on May 9, 2007.

There will be no hearing of the case for the remainder of this week. The trial will resume on Monday, when Bacchus is expected to resume her evidence in chief follow­ed by cross-examination by defence attorne­ys.