Septic tank murder accused denies concocting story about male friend

Anthony De Paul Hope denied yesterday, when cross-examination by the prosecution continued, that he had concocted the story of his aunt leaving the William Street house in the company of a male companion to remove the suspicion from himself and co-accused Ralph Tyndall.

Hope and Tyndall are on trial for the murder of his aunt Colleen Forrester, whose body was found stuffed in the septic tank at the 55 William Street, Campbellville property on January 6, 2008. The woman had last been seen at the house on December 26, 2007. Kevin O’Neil who was charge along with them has since been acquitted.

Hope who opted to give sworn testimony, did so from the witness box on Tuesday, repudiating almost every word of the story he reportedly told investigators in his caution statement.

 Colleen Forrester
Colleen Forrester

However, under cross-examination by State Attorney Stacy Goodings, yesterday Hope also denied bits of his sworn testimony.

Hope had told the court that on the night of December 26, he went home to find his aunt and cousin Niketa Semple calling for him to open the gate and had instructed Semple to jump over the fence and collect the key from under the mat. Yesterday, however, he said he was the one who had jumped over the fence to collect the keys.

He had also denied in his testimony that he and Tyndall had beaten and choked Forrester while O’Neil and Semple were downstairs fetching water. He had claimed too that O’Neil had been going to purchase food and he had asked him to buy cigarettes, and handed the money to Semple who was accompanying O’Neil.

Anthony De Paul Hope
Anthony De Paul Hope

Under cross-examination yesterday Hope said, “Madam I never sent Niketa at no shop.”

Hope insisted too that he never told any of Forrester’s relatives that she had left for Trinidad and that he would supply them with her number when she sent it to him.

“I never had no conversation with no several relatives about Trinidad concerning my aunty,” he said.

More so, Hope adamantly denied that he had pointed out a piece of wood as being the murder weapon to Officers Greavesande and Trotman, stating that he did not go back to the William Street residence therefore he couldn’t have done that.

The trial will continue on Monday when Hope’s lawyer Melville Duke will call a witness for the defence.

The matter is being heard before Justice Roxane George and is being prosecuted by Goodings in association with Diane Kaulesar.


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