Defence to make closing arguments in trial of septic tank murder accused

Lawyers for Anthony De Paul Hope and Ralph Tyndall, the men accused of murdering Colleen Forrester and stashing her body in a septic tank, are expected to make closing arguments today when the men’s trial continues.

Hope and Tyndall are on trial for the murder of Forrester, who they allegedly killed between December 27th, 2007 and January 6th, 2008, at a William Street, Campbell-ville residence, for which she was the caretaker.

The trial continued yesterday with the defence lawyers closing their case after the cross-examination of Winslow Smith, Forrester’s pastor, who Hope had claimed left with her on the night she was last seen alive.

 Colleen Forrester
Colleen Forrester

Hope had previously told the court that his aunt was romantically involved with Smith and that they often had disagreements in his presence. Additionally, the murder accused related that on the night Forrester was reportedly killed, she had had left the William Street property in Smith’s company and that was the last time he saw her alive.

Smith has disputed the claims, while saying he and Forrester shared a father and daughter-type relationship.

When given the opportunity to cross-examine the witness, Hope’s attorney Melville Duke attempted to suggest the possibility that Forrester was a victim of a sacrificial killing carried out by members of the church she attended.

However, an angry Smith shot down the suggestion immediately, while making it very clear that his church does not practice such rituals.

Smith also agreed with Duke that he should have been permitted to give a statement to the police. However, the man said that it was beyond his control since he was not in a position to command the police.

In his testimony, Smith had also described Forrester as the type of person who would have sought advice from members of her church community on issues beforehand. Therefore, he said that if Forrester had indeed made plans to visit Trinidad—as was claimed by Hope—he or one of his members would have known.

Smith was also crossed examined by Tyndall’s lawyer, Madan Kissoon, who sought clarity on allegations made by Hope.

In response to Kissoon’s questions, Smith denied that he had met Hope prior to his being held in connection to Forrester’s murder.

He further denied that he had arguments with the dead woman in the presence of Hope.

Forrester was reported missing in 2008 after relatives were unable to ascertain her whereabouts. They reported that she had last been seen after returning to the William Street home from the Main Big Lime in the early hours of December 27th, 2007.

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