Terror stalks Vanessa Francis again

– as alleged attacker released on bail

Vanessa Francis says the system offers no real protection to women in her shoes and she has dismissed justice as “just a word” after watching the man who allegedly stabbed her ten times leave custody on unrelated charges yesterday.

Nigel Douglas called ‘Ital’ was granted bail in the sum of $10,000 when he appeared at the Cove and John Magistrate’s Court on two assault charges; both matters unrelated to Francis’s case.

Francis was stabbed multiple times on February 16. She had just entered a taxi when the man confronted her. He tried to drag her from the front seat of the car while stabbing her continuously. He ran and left Francis lying in the taxi after her screaming stopped.

Francis said the police held Douglas after one of her relatives spotted him hanging out in the city, yet when he appeared in court yesterday no mention was made of her case. “All the police said was that he has pending matters in the court… What about saying that he tried to kill me and has been threatening me ever since that day?”

She said the police had charged Douglas with wounding her on March 16 while he was still in hiding and the case was put down until May. When he was arrested last week she was optimistic that the case would be called earlier as he had been located.

“Since this man get bail today [yesterday] he sending messages to me saying he get free and he gon do what he got to do,” Francis told Stabroek News yesterday while stressing that she fears for her life.

Douglas had gone into hiding after the February incident and while he was on the run he allegedly telephoned Francis making several threats. She reported these incidents to the police and according to her; the police are now in receipt of at least six different statements from her with respect to Douglas. She said that based on all that evidence and the continued threats Douglas should have been remanded to prison when he appeared in court yesterday.

“I’m really afraid for my life and for my family,” Francis said and she remains adamant that Douglas’s court date in May is too far away.

Francis said she has many questions for the police; questions which she has asked a hundred times already. She believes that the police showed little interest in building her case and in presenting the entire picture to the magistrate.

Francis added that the relief which she felt just last week after the man’s arrest, “has gone” and is now replaced by the fear that consumed her for months after the two separated. Francis and her former partner are also currently before the court in two separate matters; an assault charge and a theft charge.

The man had allegedly assaulted Francis last year September and also took away her gold jewellery.

She said that he repeatedly called her landline phone often and would make threats even while in hiding. On one occasion, she said, he called and identified himself “as the man who is going to kill Vanessa Francis.”

Francis said the relationship ended last September, when the man beat her severely and took away her gold jewellery. She decided to call it quits and has been living in fear ever since because he kept calling her at home and showing up at night.

In October last year, he broke into the home and was lying in wait for her, but another person who was in the house at the time scared him off.

Francis said that he visited her home in December with a cutlass in hand and said he was going to kill her. She reported the matter and the police went to his home and detained him. But he was subsequently released.

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