Great-niece tells court murder accused responsible for Cummings Lodge stabbing

The great-niece of murder accused Adjodha Persaud testified yesterday that she saw him stabbing her uncle, Chaitram Gooroodiyal, after they had an argument over a piece of land.

Persaud, who is now in a wheel chair after a stroke, is accused of stabbing Gooroodiyal, who was his nephew, at Second Field, Cummings Lodge, on October 2, 2009. They were in the habit of constantly arguing about the land, where they both lived and which the accused wanted to sell.

The trial began yesterday before Justice Navindra Singh and a 12-member jury in the High Court, where Poonam Gooroodiyal, the niece of the deceased and the great-niece of the accused, testified she was at home when the fatal stabbing occurred.

She stated that the men argued for about an hour, after which Persaud went into his apartment and returned with a knife. Persaud then took the knife and stabbed the man, causing him to die, she said.

She also told the court that the accused was holding the knife in his left hand but under cross-examination by defence attorney Peter Hugh she admitted that in the Magistrate Court she said that the knife was in his right hand.

The knife used in the stabbing and the shirt the accused was wearing was also tendered as evidence in the trial.

Policeman Bhachan Singh, who collected the knife and shirt from the crime scene, also testified yesterday. Singh was also cross-examined by Hugh, who asked him if the cream/fawn shirt that was admitted as evidence had changed from its original colour of white, since in the Magistrate’s Court when he had stated that the accused was wearing a white shirt. Singh admitted that the shirt changed its colour while it was in the custody of the police.

Prosecutors Rhondel Weever and Renita Singh are presenting the state’s case at the trial, which will continue today.

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