DEADLY JUSTICE

By Newsday Staff
February 12, 2011 – newsday.co.tt

PunisherVillagers of Old Clarke Road in Penal reacted with full force when they heard the screams of a woman and children who were being brutally attacked at their home on Thursday afternoon.

The villagers’ action led to one man eventually dying of chop wounds and his partner in crime seriously injured and in critical condition under police guard at the San Fernando Hospital.

The couple, Roger Hosein, 24, his wife, Nisha Alexander, 28, were seriously injured in the attack. Alexander was however treated at hospital and discharged while, Hosein remains warded in serious condition from wounds inflicted in a cutlass attack on the couple.

The dead attacker has been identified as Kenton Contara, 28, of Freeport and the other man is Marlon Seuraj, 26, of Princes Town who is now warded in hospital. A police report said Alexander opened her front door and the two men barged into the house. She was struck on the head and feet with a cutlass. They demanded money and jewelery and ordered Alexander and her children, Kevin, ten, and Kathleen, four, into the bathroom. They then went to a bedroom where Hosein was sleeping. He was chopped in the face, back, shoulder and mouth. They took cash and the keys to Hosein’s motorcar which was parked in the yard.

Police said when the men locked Alexander and her children in the bathroom, they began to scream, and Alexander’s father, Shamshad, 53, who lives next door, responded, as did several nearby villagers.

Villagers ran after the attackers and one resident chased after them with a car. According to the police both men were struck by the car and they fell on the road where they were beaten by the villagers. Contara managed to escape in nearby bushes. Seuraj was tied up by the villagers and placed in the tray of a van.

By this time Inspector Zamsheed Mohammed and other policemen arrived on the scene and in searching the area found Contara lying face down with a wound on his left leg.

A Fire Services ambulance took Hosein and Alexander to hospital, while police took Contara and Seuraj to the Princes Town district health facility where Contara was pronounced dead on arrival. Seuraj is under police guard in hospital.

Yesterday, Alexander’s mother, Angela Ali, 48, said she heard her daughter screaming and called her husband, Shamshad, who in turn called on villagers for help.

“My daughter was bleeding and she was holding the two children and pointing at two men who were running away,” Ali said. A villager, who would not give his name, said he chased after the men who were armed with cutlasses which they were swinging wildly and he assisted in tying up one of the men.

Yesterday the walls, floor and mattresses at the couple’s home were smeared with blood from the attack.

Speaking to Newsday yesterday, his body covered in bandages Hosein said: “All I know is that I was sleeping and woke up with a man chopping me. He asked me ‘Where the gold, where the gold?’ I told him it is in a drawer, but he kept planassing me.”

Police confirmed yesterday that they are questioning one of the villagers who is assisting them in enquiries.

http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,135637.html

***

Bandit killed
A man who chased after two suspected criminals, who moments earlier chopped and robbed his relatives on Thursday, running them over with his car, was in police custody last night. The 53-year-old man was detained by police, after one of the suspects, Keston Contrere, died at hospital.

Robber beaten to death

Top cop sounds warning
Commissioner of Police, Dwayne Gibbs, yesterday cautioned citizens against using excessive force on persons caught committing a crime.

29 Responses to “DEADLY JUSTICE”


  • Is he for real or what. (using excessive force on persons caught committing a crime.)Mr Gibbs, put your self in the place of the citizens who are fed up with crime on the Islands

  • If they had encountered the thugs while the crime was in progress the force used would not have been excessive. However, they did not have the authority to use deadly force after the men were hit by the car and fell unto the road.

    That is why it is so difficult to find compos mentis jurors in T&T. Because with no idea about what the law says about situations like these, they erupt into ignorant postulations.

    If a society operated on the emotional ignorance of people, there would never be justice in that society. The reason for laws is to ensure that everyone receives the same process, the same treatment.

    • Yes I agree that The law is what separates us from cave men and civilized human beings.
      However, TT outrageous crime and rate, slow responding protective force, corrupt slow legal arm + laws are not at the civilized status presently. Therefore, do as the Romans do when in Roman.
      In TT criminals big, small,their syndicate which includes their defense att and prosecutors etc that curtail the existing law with little deals of misconstrude diplomacy leads to dismissal of charges etc.
      It’s very common sense unless your head is stuck in the mud.

      • TT is a mentally draining country with this Crime. Citizens should have the Right to have swift fair justice. However, according to the history of lawlessness is ridiculously rising. Therefore, TT has not arrived to reap the fruits of civilized law.
        One last criminalis off the street because of fearful, emtionally conpromised, shocked, Victims who are tired of being taken advantage of.
        Finally! That is justice. When someone experiences hardship of crime then ignorance is lifted & understand Victims needs ensues.

    • Sir i agree with you on the context of equality of justice however …..

      if i may, can i ask you what would you do if you were in that situation. remember…your family members were just brutally attacked, you’ve caught the perpetrators.
      your adrenalin is racing… ..what would you do?

      I know what i would and its not handing them over to the cops for a easy and secure exit.

  • Could someone explain to me what is “excessive force”. Two young men in their early twenties armed with cutlass attacks a family in THEIR home. The family is defenceless, blood is flowing all over the place. The young men get what they want, traumatized the family, chop the man about his face and body. Choke the little child demanding more money. A 53 year old man in a moment of quick thinking gets into his car and stop the two. Is that excessive force???? What is he suppose to do wait for the police while these monster go and kill some other people. The public knows the man is hero, the police for the past 24 hours is interrogating the man and would charge him with homicide. This is the crazy world Trinis live in… Criminals have the advantage…

  • Dwayne Gibbs should appeal to the Criminals of the Country and request that they do not use too much force when raping and killing people in Trinidad and Tobago – just maybe they would listen to him. As far as I am concerned, he represents them. He definitely does not have any concern for the victims of crime.
    North American sensitivities, especially Canadian, does not have any place in a crime infested place like Trinidad and Tobago. The population must apply ‘full force’ to the problem of crime and the legislators have to amend the existing Laws with regard to protecting one’s own property against the ‘lawless’

  • It matters like these that require commonsense and understanding that exposes the idiocy in some. The Law says that unless you are under attack and apprehend serious injury to your self you cannot kill someone. Go and examine the law of self defense before you write nonsense and ask stupid questions.

    Yes, the thieves were thugs and probably deserve what they got. But the police have to follow the letter of the law. Regardless of how brutal a crime is, except you are present during its occurrence, you cannot kill the suspect just because you are angry over the what occurred. That amounts to vigilante justice.

    The article, if you can read, states that the men were kocked down by the car. At that point the crowd began beating them. While we can understand that, the legal action at that time was to take them into custody.

    Like I said, it is issues like these that require objective thinking that exposes idiots and pretenders. It is issues like these that exposes the inability of some to cast aside emotion and examine things from a point of law. Go and read the law of deadly force and common sense. Go to the Attorney General Chambers and but them. T&T law is an inheretance from the British Commonwealth System, and that is all we have got.

    If it is ok for a crowd of people to kill criminals because of the heinious act they perpetrated, then it should also be ok for the poor to do likewise to the heinious exploitation the experience from the rich and the powerful, many times resulting in slow death. My God!

    The law allows people to use deadly force to protect their lives and property. The persons who carried out the beatings and killings were not the ones under attack. Law is a rule of human conduct enforced by the state thru its authority thet Courts. The Courts are the forums where sanctions for disobedience of the law must occur. That is the Law as it exist. You don’t like lobbt to change it, but please cease the ignorant castigating of the cops for doing what their rules and procedures require that they do.

  • Aint Right, North American sensitivities means to me, one that lives in North America, white Liberal sensitivities. It is mainly white liberals that maintain such sensitivities up here. Those that have lived in crime ridden zones or near them know that sometimes immediate justice must be meted out. Those beasts that broke into those people’s house got what the worked for. One of the chops on the people in their home could have led to their deaths, thus I am in agreement with you and Khem. Keith Williams needs to face reality. Sure, there should be no vigilante force, but swift and immediate justice is warrented at times.

  • Minister Panday: Attack criminals with full force
    THE group of villagers who attacked two bandits in Penal, one of whom died, has gotten moral support from a Government minister who yesterday called for a change to the law of self-defence to allow citizens to attack bandits “with full force”.

  • The language and attitude of Keith Williams:

    “It matters like these that require commonsense and understanding you write nonsense and ask stupid questions”.

    “that exposes the idiocy in some”

    “Like I said, it is issues like these that require objective thinking that exposes idiots and pretenders”.

    “but please cease the ignorant castigating of the cops for doing what their rules and procedures require that they do”.

    Who is this KNOW IT ALL? He must be one angry man!

  • While most people welcome the deadly reaction in the face of what appeared to be a brutal robbery, the Commissioner of Police’s comments were in order. It was very responsible of him to caution citizens about using excessive force.

    It was irresponsible of Minister Panday to take a populist position in favour of using extreme measures to deal with possible criminals even when people’s lives are not in imminent danger.

    Vigilantism has its risk and innocent people could be hurt or killed when people try to be judge, jury and executioner. People could nab the wrong person and damage them. I have seen cases where crimes were committed and irate persons rushed to judgement and accosted the first set of Black boys they met on the block and it turned out they were wrong.

    Added to which, the disproportionate use of force is illegal. If you kill someone because you believe your life is in imminent danger then that is self-defense. If you run down and kill someone after they committed burglary, for example, then that could be manslaughter or murder depending on the circumstances.

    So while in this case reports show that this was a brutal robbery, I am sure many, including the police, would be sympathetic to those who stopped these suspected bandits and would-be murderers in their tracks. However, the cautionary note that followed was in order.

  • ‘He did nothing wrong’
    WIFE of the Penal villager who reacted by driving into the two thieves who had terrorised a couple at their home on Thursday, is pleading with police to release her husband.

    The problem with vigilante justice

  • In the issue of Newsday for Monday, Feb. 14, Mr. Subhas Panday supports people picking up cutlasses etc to defend their lives and property from”Thieves”. Here you have it people. Please heed his advice. Sharpen your cutlasses, your pouyants, your machetes and go after the following thieves: The CLICO group including Duprey, The Hindu Credit Union leaders, Calder Hart, Basdeo anday and all those still stalling the Airports Inquiry and the restitution of stolen goods, Ish and Steve, and then, go after the big oil companies that steal our oiland gas by paying us less than its worth and lying about the amount of oil pumped from the soil and oceans.
    But those are not the people Panday means, yuh know, he would not want anyone going after his brother. He means the petty thieves who rob those barely a step above poverty. Everyone knows that in predatory societies ,the herrings eat the minnows, but the sharks eat them all, so if the minnows have weapons to retaliate, it makes sense to go after the sharks.

    The people of Egypt learnt that after thirty years of pillaging and murder by the Great White at the top, Hosni Mubarak, and his supporters
    Do not stop at the little men. Go for the big thieves.

  • I have to say, the villagers acted with a lot of restraint. Can you imagine someone coming into your daughter’s home to attack and rob her family, leaving them almost dead. I can only speak for myself, if had I been in that position the remains of the two criminals would have required DNA testing for identification. I understand that we are required to follow the law, but in the heat of the moment and the atmosphere created by the criminals in the country today a little vigilante justice feels so sweet.

    It is about time people start defending themselves by what ever means possible, only then would the criminals think twice before they enter your home.

  • These were by no means “petty thieves”. They were murderers who attempted to kill a fisherman by chopping him while he was asleep.

  • Ok, but how do they add up as “thieves” when compared to the crooks I listed in my first comment? Seriously now. How do they measure up to the polluted waters, the polluted air, the factories that spill effluvents constantly. The death dust of the Cement Factory. These have gone on for years. How many died, we do not know. We need to look at the crooks among the higher ups and better offs, as well as the small ones.If those robbed blind by the Big Guys took cutlasses to them, how man would they chop before the rest got the message?

    Watch the ring of fire unfold around the Mediterranean.Tunisia, Egypt + Algeria, Bahrain, Jordan, Yemen and the list grows all the time.
    I like the neighbors coming to the rescue, but let us not only go after the small guys.

  • You are totally correct. Unless the the BIG Yuys are handled , justice would not be served in the complete context.

  • Cops free man held for robber’s death
    Barrackpore villagers rejoiced yesterday after a man, accused of killing a robber, was released from police custody. The robber had terrorised and chopped family members of 52-year-old Shamshad Ali, of Barrackpore, last week Thursday. However, his joyful reunion with friends and relatives was shortlived as the released man had to be taken for medical treatment after his blood pressure went up. The man’s wife said she was relieved that no charges were laid against him.

    Man held in thief’s death freed

    Penal man released

    Drawing the line
    Last week when villagers ran out of their Penal Old Clarke Road houses on hearing the screams of 28-year-old Nisha Alexander and her children, their intent was to rescue their neighbours. Clearly they did not have murder in mind and the subsequent death of one of the two bandits attacking the Alexander’s family was arguably the natural result of years of rage and impotence. Defence regrettably turned into attack.

  • Chopping victim goes into hiding
    Roger Narine Hosein, who was chopped by thieves, one of whom was later killed, was released from hospital on Tuesday night. However, the frightened man immediately went into hiding.

    Seetahal: Penal killing justifiable
    SENIOR COUNSEL and former Independent senator Dana Seetahal says last week’s killing in Penal of a thief was justifiable in the circumstances. She said yesterday that it is not in the public interest to charge anyone and that the court of public opinion, in which crime is rampant in the country, looms large.

    …Update ‘archaic, unrealistic’ law, says Prof Deosaran
    Residents who take action against intruders can no longer be referred to as vigilantes and the Government must amend the current legislation to empower citizens to defend themselves…

  • Everything is “justifiable”, “OK”, “in Defense of home and family,” etc. until some person, unable to feed his/her family due to the price gouging by the parasitical oligarchy,and low wages, takes a cutlass to one or two of them, and “liberates” a whole food warehouse of overpriced basics. Then, we will see the same lminaries change their tune.
    Mubarak would have still been in power, but some young man full of despair at joblessness, hopelessness and denial of the right to live a meaningful life, set himself on fire, and died. Then, hell broke loose, all over the Middle East.

    • There are lots of work that pays over the minimum wage but the discipline and work ethic is very low in T&T. Over many years I experience this and the busiess community knows this. Get real! there are honest jobs/work avail but the lazy dirty mentality of no work and get paid looms. Real unforunate people are those that die from the winter cold, no water, have to eat rodents to survive. This does not happen here in TT because we are still very fortunate of our circumstances. So that middle east uprising thing for work is irrelevant for jobs. That’s highly ignorant, u think? I can totally understand An uprising against the Criminal Bullying,and laws and systems that need to be tailored to TT’s social & cultural needs.Somethings need to be considered the corrupt,slow, protective force and legal arm, laws, Lack of checks and Balances, performance audits etc.

  • The law is what separates us from cave men and civilized human beings. The fact that the people were murderers and not common criminals does not justify the use of excessive force. Yes, it is in emotional issues like these that one can separate an individual’s ability to abstractly understand the construct of due process and the rule of law.

    Again, go to a law book and post any section of the law that justifies the use of force except when an attack is imminent or when it is current. The inspid rational that because someone was a murderer it was ok to usurp the power of the constitutional and legal authority to dispense justice is a reasoning I would expect in a child, or someone who is a couple of synapses removed from a John Steinbecks Lennie.

    It is natural to want to beat the living daylights out of curs like these, or even hang them from the balls. It is another thing to engage in absolutely backward postulations that are misrepesentative of what the laws of T&T instructs, and the details narrated about the happenings. I wonder sometimes if people read before the vomit out the kind of nonsense that is being presented. The details provided in the piece stated Villagers ran after the attackers and one resident chased after them with a car. According to the police both men were struck by the car and they fell on the road where they were beaten by the villagers. Contara managed to escape in nearby bushes. Seuraj was tied up by the villagers and placed in the tray of a van. At that point where the men fell on the road after being knocked down by a car, they did not pose a threat to the group of villagers who outnumbered them severally. That is the point at which any jury would have to make a decison on whether force was excessive. You can infuse the silly and anti-intellectual parade of “well when yo under attack yo gat fo defend yoself”, but that does not describe the interaction at that poignant point and time.

    It is no wonder people are scared of many of you being on juries. Your cockeyed understanding of simple things is astounding, and the tendency to replace facts with fabrications is instructive. I guess we can now understand why there is that line of disagreement that perpetually separate our views. How the hell can anyone reason with people who seem to think with their buts rather than with their heads. Talk about being ass backward, this takes the cake.

  • Mr. Williams, one cannot educate people to be forward in their thinking, unless one has first educated them to think.
    We are a cuture of rote memory, not people given to serious thinking. Watch our political parties at election time. They appeal to the most basic instincts in the most basic people, and it works. Thinking is neither a hobby nor a requirement for existing at the level of raw emotions at which our people operate. This is why a supposed legal luminary as Ms. Seetahal would justify taking the law into one’s own hands. How she would respond if in her exhausted state, she hit and dented someone’s car on the road home, and he came after her with a machete, would probably be a horse of a different colour. Everyone knows that people are more valuable than property, but our country with its epidemic of wife murderers would never dream of fast-tracking the ability of women to get guns to protect them from murderous spouses, but businessmen are allowed to own guns to protect their property, and the “protective services” respond with alacrity to a robbery, but not to a man chopping his wife to death. Civilied? you joking. The niceties of the law passes us by like an overlaoded express bus.

  • After reading of the murder in Trincity, of a man who was sleeping next to his child, by a “relative”- father? Father in Law?, I wonder what those who justified the chopping and such that started this thread, would say in that case.What would King Lear, in his madnes after his children tricked him out of his possessions, have done, if he was a Trini or a Caribbean man? Derek Walcott, Freddie Kisson, write something. We are ripe for dramatic comedy on the murderous comedy that is Trinidad and Tobago.Albert LeVeau would make a grand “Old man” for this drama.The idea is available freely to anyone else who writes drama. I am an essayist and poet, so I throw the thought out for anyone to take up.

  • I do not think its is surprising that the arguments of some on this page mimics what comes out their brethren in Guyana durinf the lynching spree orchestrated by the Indian Government of Guyana. It is cultural, it is uncivilized, and speaks to the mindsets that have corrupted the indigenity of places like Fiji, a former peaceful and idyllic paradise until interlopers migrated there and disrupted the atmosphere with their neanderthal ways. We can expect T&T to go through the same transformation over the next five years.

    The difference between human and animals is that we were given a capacity for abstract reasonings that allows us to enact rules that covered all in the human nestingsin which we gather to form communities. Obviously, as in everything there are exceptions like the criminals who attacked the family and brutally murdered and maimed them. But what incidents like these illuminate, is that hidng among us in facades of respectability and civilized stature are those who are not removed from the primitive thinking and mindsets of those criminals that attacked the family. And I do not extend that description to the crowds that lost control and reverted to type. They were moved by the moment and acted with uncontrolled emotions. That description is for those who were far removed from the happenings, cannot claim emotional disturbances as an excuse, and shows themselves to be slavering and primordial thinkers stuck in a time warp of neanderthal existence, and incapable of cognitively examining issues from the point view anticipated by the creators of laws.

    So Linda I am trying to educate them into the pursuit of thought processes that are difficult for any but objective and lucid mindsets. I am merely making the comparisons to back up what I have been writing here since I decided to contribute to the thoughts expressed in here. Dwight D Eisenhower opined that, “The clearest way to show what the rule of law means to us in everyday life is to recall what has happened when there is no rule of law.” He was referring to the time when man lived in caves, hit his woman on the head with a club as an expression of courtship, and ate, shit and slept in the same place. That the genes from that time has passed down, I supposed, is explained by the scientifc findings in this link.

    http://www.vote29.com/newmyblog/archives/14241

  • I clearly argued throughout the exchanges in this thread, that “a mans house was his castle, and he was justified to use force, including dealy force, against unlawful and violent entry into that domain. I am not responsible for the incapacity of some to follow thoughts that are expressed in anything longer than a one line sentence. That attention span is a process of cognitive transition from concrete cement block thinking, to one that is expanded with formal, abstract and objective capacities.

    I argued throughout this thread that the people who pursued the criminals were lawfully justified in undertaking that action, that they were justified in using force to apprehend and bring to justice the neanderthals who committed the crime. However, once they had subdued them by knocking them down with the vehicle, had surrounded them and had them outnumbered, the resort to violence at that point transformed them from citizens acting lawfully, into a mob acting unlawfully. Although their actions cannot be justified under the law, it can be understood because of the emotionality of the moment. In contrast, those who continue to argue incoherently that the laws need to be changed to justify such actions, or that because the crime was so violent the actions were justifed, exhibt the kind the ignorance and backwardness we saw in the beating of Rodney King by a gang of cops in Los Angeles several years ago.

    I have always wondered about the mentality of the people who lynched black men like Emmit Till back in the day and justifed it with the same vaccuous rationals. Sadly their kind are still among us. They might walk among us with this trait concealed, but putting lipstick on a pig will not convert it into a thing of beauty. In that context, the facade they use to imply that that they have evolved and are civilized is easily torn asunder by what they vomit out in the examination of issues like these.

  • http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2011/03/11/pncr-afc-lodge-complaints-against-jagdeo-with-oas/

    Is it a coincidence, or is it a cultural sharing of ethnic antipathy, that the only two regimes in the world who are urgung law enforcent to kill happen to be Indian led regimes in natiions with significant black populations? Bharat Jagdeo of Guyana recently urged law enforcement in Guyana and Community Policing Groups that are mainly comprised of Indians to shoot to kill. There is no ambiguity over the images in the mind of the President during this vicarious blood thirsty missive.

    During trhe spate of vigilante lynchings in Guyana, the Guyana President and his Ministers never uttered a word of public condemnation over this breach of the very foundation of due process. They never implored law enforcement, during an era when the mutilated corpses of black men were appearing on the front pages of news papers. It was like Guyana had gone back in time and occupied the south of America when the lynching of black men like Emmit Till was a fashionable Sunday afternoon picnic interlude for spectators.

    The fact that the only crimes the twin regimes in the Caribbean seem concerned about are those in which the suspects might be black. The speaks volumes about what we are facing in the Caribbean today. Imagine, in this year when the UN is urging the world to recognize the continuing discriminatory challenges faced by people of African descent, in the Commonwealth Caribbean, the descendants of those who were forced to hue and create a place to which others could migrate later, are now being valued at the same level of human worth as obtained back then. It seems that we have come full circle and gone back in time to an environment when our humanity was under question, and evil men argued for our disposal as they disposed of horses with broken legs.

    When George Bush, after 911, made his now infamous speech of if you are not with us you are against us, the same parties today who are dismissive of the human and civil rights of black people were pulling out their hair and screaming trhat Bush was being racist. Of course the targets of his proclamation then was perceived by them to be Muslims, specifically those who looked like them, and to whom they ascribed a higher level of human value. Africans in the US and elsewhere voluably added their voices to the protest against what Bush speech implied. Little did they know that ten years down the line some of their convenient associates would be seeking to apply the same measures enunciated by Bush against people of African descent.

    We need to cease this palpable tendency to allow people to get away with this hypocrisy. If a European president in a nation with a large black populatioins had taken this kill position they would have been lambasted as racist. Why the double standard. It is instructive that throughout the history of America, including the most dark era of enslavement, no President ever publicly called for the killing of people as crime fighting measure. What this suggest is that the personalities of the those who are making these exhortations today are infinitely more hateful, infinitely more racist,and harbor an infinitely greater thirst to decimate the black population in the political environments they now control

  • We should never forget that when Indira Ghandi trampled on the rights of the people of India, one of her own bodyguards did her in. No one else could have gotten that close. She was walking in her garden when she was struck down.

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