British couple beaten, chopped

By Indarjit Seuraj and Andre Bagoo
August 03, 2009 –

Domestic ViolenceSo horrific was the beating and chopping of 59-year-old British vacationer Murium Greene at her home in Bacolet Tobago on Saturday, that tears of blood streamed from her swollen eyes as she lay on a bed yesterday at the High Dependency Unit of the Eric Williams Medical Science Complex (EWMSC) in Mt Hope.

At the Intensive Care Unit of the EWMSC, Greene’s husband Peter, 65, lay in a medically induced coma, his head and face covered in cuts and chops. Doctors expressed concern that bleeding in his brain, caused by the traumatic injuries, had not stopped.

The Greenes were attacked at their 34 Bacolet Crescent, Bacolet, Tobago home on Saturday afternoon at 2 o’clock. Police believe either cutlasses or machetes were used in the attack. According to Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Nadhir Khan, Mrs Greene was seen on the roadway outside her home with wounds to her face, pleading for help. Scarborough police was alerted and Mr Greene was later found inside the house, with serious wounds to his face and head. The couple was taken to the Scarborough Regional Hospital where they were stabilised before being air-lifted to the EWMSC at about 9 pm. The couple who are originally from Reading in England are believed to be retirees, who for the past ten years, frequented Tobago where they own the house in Bacolet. They arrived last week Wednesday for vacation.

Up to yesterday, police had not ruled out robbery as a motive for the brutal attack and there were no suspects. “It’s too early to tell,” Khan said.

When Newsday visited Mrs Greene at the EWMSC, she was heavily sedated with doctors listing her as being in serious but stable condition. Mrs Greene moaned frequently. Her nose was heavily bandaged and blood streamed from her swollen eyes.

So severe was the attack that a portion of her jaw was severed from her skull. She needed four pints of blood to make up for the blood she lost while lying on the road near her home begging for help. A male nurse later held a mobile phone to her lips and she spoke softly.

At the Intensive Care Unit, Mr Greene, who is listed in critical condition, was placed by doctors into an induced coma because of injuries to his head. Doctors expressed concern about the bleeding in the brain. He is on a ventilator to assist his breathing. He sustained injuries to his head, face, eyes and nose during the attack.

In the next 72-hours, doctors will monitor their condition closely to see whether there is further bleeding in Peter’s brain. They will also examine Mrs Greene to ensure there are no infections in her wounds. They are currently under the care of a multi-disciplinary team also comprising an eye surgeon and anaesthetist, and will require additional reconstructive surgery.

In a release yesterday, the National Security Ministry condemned the attack and assured the British High Commission that the police was doing everything to apprehend the perpetrators of the crime.

“The Government of Trinidad and Tobago condemns the attack on (the) British couple,” the release read. “The Ministry has reassured the British High Commission that the police are doing everything possible to find the attackers.”

Yesterday the Police Service issued a release noting that details of the incident were sketchy. “At this stage details of the attack, such as descriptions of the attackers, are not available,” the release noted. Both releases spelt Mrs Greene’s first name as “Marion”, but Tobago police yesterday maintained that her name was Murium. Geoff Patton, the deputy British High Commissioner, yesterday said he could not confirm the couple’s names or give out any information about them.

However he said, “my Government appreciates the concerns expressed by the Trinidad and Tobago government. I know the family is receiving the best treatment possible. We are very grateful for that. What we do look forward to is the apprehension of the people who committed this horrible crime.”,104858.html

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17 thoughts on “British couple beaten, chopped”

  1. It’s A Horrible Crime

    Catch The Culprits
    Cops urged to act swiftly to bring attackers of British couple to justice

    …Tobago politicians outraged

    Bacolet in shock over chopping
    Criminals from Trinidad are hiding out in Tobago. This is the view of residents of Bacolet Point, who are still reeling in shock over last weekend’s chopping of British couple, Marion Greene, 59, and her husband Peter, 65.

    Tobago chopping
    WE would like to offer our deepest regrets to British husband and wife, Peter Greene, 65, and Murium Greene, 59, of Reading, Berkshire, who were hospitalised after being severely chopped in a savage machete attack in Bacolet, Tobago, on Saturday. Words fail us at the cruelty and senselessness of this assault on a couple of retirement age who had travelled halfway around the world to seek out tranquility and relaxation in the sister isle.

  2. Best wishes ,speedy recovery, and thank you to our two English friends, Peter and Murium Green. We won’t be surprise if you have already fired off a quick report to your travel blog to inform your fellow European tourist and the world at large that they could afford to bypass this beautiful un spoilt gem referred to as Robinson Crusoe island come their next visit , and opt instead for Ocho Rios . There at least the government know how to protect their interest and would never allow these atrocious crime maladies to reach such disturbing proportion or allow a major money earning festival to be abruptly cancelled , like we did with the Tobago Jazz festival. I hope these unemployed criminals did not in anger take out his venom on the next more vulnerable victim , because he could not do something against those in authority.
    Thank you for allowing Tobago to get some air time , although it was under these unfortunate circumstances. I am exceedingly surprise that this is such an infrequent exercise in Tobago , as I am on record as saying that this is perhaps the most backward and neglected country in the entire English Speaking Caribbean , based on our level of wealth. However, who and what are allowed to control the entire agenda in our country – especially quite recently? o need for me to tell you as the headlines speaks for themselves.

    A poor kinky head Mandingo child from John John got raped and murdered, and for that perhaps two days coverage at most in the news, since the competition for attention from our “me , me tribal contingents are steep indeed. A soldier’s wife loss her life in devastating fashion at one of our high profile Police Station while trying to escape obvious death from young bandits ,and she was lucky perhaps to get an extra day news attention- and we know why once more . Yes ‘the me , me gang,’ must be serviced. Remember , election postponements ,acts of genocide , blatant terrorism ,and government directed ethnic cleansing throughout our public service are matters of mammoth importance.
    Come on Security Council , don’t we pay dues as well? Our citizens are enquiring, but others exclaim – what a pathetic joke? Any wonder that we are fast becoming the laughing stock of the world. We are without doubts the richest English speaking Caribbean island. I am certain that we have more poverty and class divisions/ disparities than Haiti, and almost as much crimes as Jamaica. We are finding it difficult to keep economically up with recourse less Barbados- a country that is131 km or 51 sq miles bigger than Tobago , and almost totally dependent on tourism for it‘s survival. What a shame!
    As for the Greens , once more we have to thank you and your British counterparts. Can one imagine what would have happened to you , if your country – our former loving British Colonial counterparts did not build that only Tobago hospital way back when Queen Elizabeth was an embryo? You both would then have had to wait for at least four hours at the Crown Point airport for a shuttle plane to more advanced, specialized and sophisticated Trinidad POS Hospitals ,where you could risk your life at the hands of qualified bakers /com Nigerian doctors , and overqualified -and often under represented -farmers/com Trini native doctors as they fight each other for the rights to pronounce you dead before you arrive. Is this what your Shakespeare , and our own British son V.S. Naipaul might refer to as ‘a comedy of errors?’ Let’s call it what it is , a national disgrace.Let the finger pointing begin – in true Trini style. Better yet, time to make another piece of worthless legislation that would send a subtle message that we are serious about crimes.

  3. And to think that I was critical of the man responsible for tourism in Tobago. Look at what he has to work with. Yes, yes, yes, crime does happen everywhere. In a country trying to grow that sector of it’s econnomy, acts like this have a lingering effect for years to come. This couple more than likely has dozens of friends and family who also have dozens of friends and family whom will all be bipassing Tobago when and if they have the money to vacation.
    More importantly, where is the value on human life?

  4. “A little neglect may breed great mischief.”
    Benjamin Franklin

    The more important question is why are you not outraged at the fact that we cannot seriously begin to address the pressing issues of the day, and who is responsible for the foolish distractions and political gridlock that is forcing us to be under achievers? Of course the lives of foreigners are important, but the desperate would have absolutely no compunction in attacking some that they view as symbols that benefited from their neglect and oppressions, and utilize any means to an end in furthering their specific end game/ agenda – whether right or wrong.
    Not all of us have the means at our disposal Curtis to pack a duffel bag with six hundred thousand TT Dollars or more ,and run to a foreign land of our choice , so as to kiss the feet of authorities in search of refugee status. I hope you of all people can empathize with the plight of others , be it Nelson Mandela previously and his anti Apartheid activism, The Nigerian debacle, Arab Palestinians push back against what Nobel peace Laureate Jimmy Carter described as Jewish genocide and acts of state terrorism against the innocent,an untouchable South Asian Indian quest to change his fate by swithing religion, or specifically in our case a hungry, desperate, un employed illiterate Tobagonian.
    The situation in Tobago might not be as dire as the above mentioned hopeless developments, but who are we to determine the degree in which one can reach breaking point and hit back? Are we walking in their shoes, and observing Europeans, and privileged Trinidadian real estate speculators daily traversing our island while pretending to be tourist, and fixated on a long term goal of turning their island into another Barbados, where locals are prevented from bathing in beaches that have been turned in to private waterfronts for nudist, and decadent bohemians?
    None of us can imagine what it means to suffer the indignity of having to travel to big sister Trinidad for an appendix examination because of the lack of a modern functioning hospital in the island ward, only to hear greedy uncaring doctors and politicians from within 25 hospital that were constructed in the other half of your twin republic , argue like petty school girls about who should get more spoils from the government as a result of being more special. Once more not toappear insensitive , belittle this monstrocity but, “value on human life,” some might say must of necessity also apply to local citizens one would hope Curtis. You cannot be so heartless to disagree with this, can you?

  5. lots of love and prayers go to both Pete and Murium green our thoughts are with you for a speedy recovery.

  6. Neal, I would not like to stray too far from the topic at hand, but I must ask you if you think that Mend should have what they want? Not as a terrorist or desperate group, but as people of that nation who are entitled to equal distribution of compensation for the oil being retrieved?
    There are rules for society and we all need to follow them. Why should someone having a tougher time be able to violate those rules because of their situation? There is no way that someone should be able to attack the innocent because they had a bad day.
    It is the role of government to decide what the needs of its people are and what they can afford to bare, not that of a rogue disgruntled and perhaps disenfranchised citizen. Blame the elected officials if you can’t use the beaches and your healthcare system needs to be revamped, but don’t take it out on unsuspecting tourist or foreign nationals for the mistakes of our elected officials.
    To answer your question, I understand where you are coming from, but I don’t agree with the condoning sympathy for a dangerous individual.

  7. One must wonder at the viciousness of this attack,in broad daylight. If these people have been in Tobago for a long time, what changed? Tobagonians are not generally known as vicious people.( I do not buy that trinis went over there and did this)

    There is something here that we do not yet see. Why try to disfigure their faces? Were they chopped while lying or sitting? No screams?

    Years ago, a British businessman who had been an annual visitor to Antigua, was robbed, beaten and killed. Antigua was shocked. 1988-89,I was living there at the time.

    When the whole story came out, people were shocked. The man had a specific relationship with a particular young man, when something about that relationship changed, the attack was viious and deadly.

    This is not to say that there is anything to impugh the character of the victims, but when a pet lion, or chimp turns on its master, something triggered it. Same with seemingly kind humans. Did they have household help? A change in help? The dismissal of an eemployee, without compensation? I think also of the murder,in South Africa, in the 1990’s of the wife of the first Vice-President of Free South Africa,under Mandela- Mrs. de Klerk. She was killed in a rage by a gardener, who was dismissed abruptly, in a South Africa that was changing rapidly in ways neither understood. She was the first person I had met personally, who was murdered.

    Now, they way the British authorities are responding to this situation is quite laudable. They value their citizens. Such a contrast to the responses of our government,to trinis murdered in London, Canada or the US. To give Jack his jacket, they did bring home the medical students caught up in the war in Georgia.

  8. Mrs Greene undergoes surgery

    Police hunt two suspects
    Police have launched a massive search for two Trinidadian men in connection with the attack on British couple, Peter Greene, 65, and his wife Murium, 59, at their Tobago home last weekend.

    Top homicide detectives hunt cutlass culprits

    A Hate Crime
    FOR THE first time, senior police officers in Tobago raised the possibility that the brutal cutlass attack six days ago on British couple Peter and Murium Greene, may be a hate crime.

    Mounted police to patrol Tobago beaches

    Victims need blood
    Aftermath of attack on tourists in Tobago

    All Is Not Lost
    Tourism Minister on possible visitor fallout after attack on Brits

  9. I’d like to take this time to remind the people of TT that Patrick Manning is not solely to blame for crime in the country.

    There is a cabinet to decide on policy matters which is delegated to ministers for delivery.

    To blame the PM alone very time a crime is committed in the country is absolute naivety.

    Is the PM expected to comment after every crime is committed? Don’t you think the ministry that is responible for crime and policing should suffer the constant knocks directed to the PM?

    Please get a grip and stop making unnecessary arguments when a little commonsense is all that is required.

    We all want to eliminate crime yet crime has been around for centuries. Crime resolution is one of those ongoing aims that we’ll never achieve but we will strive to achieve it.

    Let’s try to make some indentations in dealing with crime rather than to sink ourselves in the blame culture that seems to exist.

  10. Curtis said ,”Neal,I must ask you if you think that Mend should have what they want? Not as a terrorist or desperate group, but as people of that nation who are entitled to equal distribution of compensation for the oil being retrieved?”
    Cousin Curtis good question, but I must tell you that like most of the world, I too am suffering from ‘conflict fatigue’ when it come to the African continent. Without expending too much energy into deep research , I am becoming more and more convinced as to why the demonic Slave trade occurred in Africa , and other continent were spared.
    Africans would decide to settle their own problems in due course , when they think the time is right. I have made efforts to engage several Nigerians and other Africans during the past two years of all stripes on this and similar subjects involving places such as Sudan, Congo , Angola, Zimbabwe, Liberia , and Serra Leone but to no avail. One does not need a Phd to recognize that most of 890 million people that comprise the population of Africa , relish tyrants.
    Having said that , in reference to determining terrorism , and in the absence of a meaningful definition from the UN to date , I’ll leave you with a useful quote from and old radical liberal, Jewish , ex London School of Economics Political Science Professor I once had for a terrorism class. He said , “always pay attention to who has the power.”
    Let us therefore focus on the more important and mammoth task of taking the “mole out of own eyes,”by addressing social , economic , and political disparities in our own backyard- and I don’t only mean Penal, Erin ,Chaguanas ,Couva , and Barrackpore- as a precondition to eradicating simmering outrage and violence. Perhaps we should also follow my advice and “beware of a man with nothing to loose.”
    A good question from cousin C deserves one in return . If a man is starving would you support the actions of someone in authority that prepares the best meal, by the greatest Chef of the land, after which they proceeded to pull his pants down to his knees, and rub the entire 5 Star meal onto the outside of his stomach, then tell him “take way yourself in true Dance hall style.”?

    Better yet, your sister is 5001bs overweight , and was rushed to the POS or Eric Williams Complex Hospital for medical attention with you in tow as a close supporting family . What would you say of the doctors and nurses , who after receiving your loving sister the patient in the emergency room , they then proceeded to squeeze her toes , romp ,and ears for all of 1 hr , and do a best village jig and Mastana Bahar tassa wine dance around the operation table naked and blind folded , then pronounced her cured – if by some miracle she survived -then gave her a complimentary coupon to her favorite next meal of choice at Kentucky Fry Chicken ,or Royal Castle?
    That’s what the people of Tobago have been getting from big brother Trinidad and it’s wonderful leadership on the so call divide since 1962 ,when the Hurricane Flora devastated that island.
    It is well documented fact that outside of Haiti ,Tobago is undoubtedly , perhaps one of the most backward and neglected islands in the entire Caribbean region , bearing in mind our abundant natural resources.
    I’ll finally leave you with a quote from one of it’s wisest souls that I had the honor to know from 8 weeks to 16 years until her untimely painful death at age 53 years due to the island’s deficient and or none existent health care system- a situation that remains on the secondary (rejected stone)island even up to today.
    She always reminded me that ” the longest rope , must have an end.” Do you subscribe to her type of logic Curtis , even if he did not have the opportunity to study Philosophy at Cambridge, Law at Oxford , and Geology at UWI, or Political Science at the Toronto University?
    Sometimes to “take way yourself” is not an option cousin C, for a few eggs must be broken to make that omelet, agreed, or is it only applicable to get rid of Saddam Hussain,the Taliban , Yugoslavian Serbian kingpin, Hamas, and Hezbollah, Kurdish separatist , or Kashmir militants ?
    I wish you well , my friend.

  11. What have paradise come to. How sad and embarassing to our nation, where retirees chose to make the sister isle which is peaceful and exotic to relax, but endured such vindictive vicious act. My heart and prayers are with this couple hoping for a positive recovery. Kindly ensure better security for future retirees as my self Mr. Minister.

  12. I am the husband of the attacked couple at Bacolet. i would like to say the biggest crime comitted that day was the attackers letting their fellow citizens take the blame. I am so sorry for that as all Tobagians I hve met and those who are friends are lovely people. May I appolagise for spelling errors but I have only partial sight since the attack.

    God bless you all,

    Peter Green

  13. To the criminal who did this cowardly act , you will be punished severely, some one with courage will give you away, God help you and those who have aided you

  14. Yes Avines , the Christian God of revenge would take care of them.”Let them eat cake,” and repeatedly ‘turn the other cheek,’ and pay for relief from ‘our father who art in heaven.’
    What a pathetic prospect, for a desperate people living in such an resource laden mismanaged country!

  15. You know that you are in trouble, and heading down the road of doom, when the murder of another human being no longer can garner real outrage, serious media attention, or alarm across our nation. I am talking about the murder of a German Engineer/businessman/ land speculator , living -a few meters away from the chopped English couple -on the island for less than five years, and on the verge of selling his vast real estate , while probably leaving behind a few broken hearts.

    Our security authorities and certain media pundits initially made some lame commentaries as they speculate as to motives. One would suspect that the more organized Bajan , and Jamaican Tourist Boards heads are almost hysterical with glee,at the possible negative fallouts as a few more Tobagonians go to sleep hungry as European, and national/ foreign based tourist seek greener and safer pastures for their investments and or weekend romps.
    So two of the culprits had no Tobago connections, eh?. Ah, ha, that is some consolation for a few misguided thinkers that possess this stupid notion that the people in the both island are somewhat different when it comes to criminal behaviors that’s often the result of social , economic and political neglect and decay.
    Don’t you like it when the author of the piece tries to make a point of emphasizing the origin of one of the alleged criminal degenerates . His parents are Trinidadian and Jamaican , and he lived in the USA for many years, they claim. You know what the code word is here, correct?
    Ask this fool what his respective governments have done for decades starting with Dr. William stewardship to present, for the chiefly illiterate criminals that leave our prisons daily and is confronted with a hostile social environment, where jobs are few ,their skills are inadequate , and citizens are reluctant to give a second chance to anyone but fraudulent ,cooked ,white color criminals.
    Let it be known that if our political and social authorities continue to neglect the needs of the people, other elements will fill the void, and unfortunately not only struggling citizens, but foreigners that chose to reside and invest in our country.
    Hey , good news , the PM and Opposition leader are on speaking terms again, and over a recent tet-ta-tet ,extended sympathies for the deaf wife of the ‘Minister of Wild Meat’ Mr. Hunt , and might agree on a symposium to discuss the merits of spending 2 million on a flag.
    I love this country, as it seems as if one of the Docs truism is still a reality depending on who you ask- “money ain’t no problem.”

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