Prosecution to make closing arguments in septic tank murder trial today

The prosecution will make closing arguments today when the trial of two men accused of killing Colleen Forrester and stuffing her body in a septic tank continues.

Yesterday, defence counsel for Anthony De Paul Hope and Ralph ‘Nick’ Tyndall gave their closing arguments.

Addressing the members of the jury, Tyndall’s attorney Madan Kissoon sought to remind them of what his client had said in court. Kissoon urged the jurors to take into consideration that his client has stuck by his caution statement eight years after it was taken.

Additionally, the lawyer related that it is his belief that Nikita Semple, the granddaughter of the dead woman was indeed a credible witness.

 Colleen Forrester
Colleen Forrester

However, he said, her recollection of the little details of what happened that night can be deemed to be questionable though she should not be blamed for the inconsistencies of her story since the incident occurred several years ago.

Kissoon argued that the prosecution failed to provide evidence that Tyndall had equal participation in the murder of Colleen Forrester. He added that the only role Tyndall played in the matter was being present.

The lawyer had asked members of the jury to draw the inference that after Tyndall had gone downstairs that night, he left the premises, adding that his actions were in sync with what he told investigators when he was questioned.

“If you are not sure that the result of him [Tyndall] being present at Lot 55 William Street, is the direct act or even a participatory act that led to this woman being wrapped up in cloth and placed in the septic tank then you must acquit him,” Kissoon said.

Meanwhile, Hope’s lawyer, Melville Duke described the case as one that “had more to it than meets the eye.”

He claimed that from January 6, 2008, the day Forrester’s body was found, “this whole case has been compromised, highly compromised,” as he sought to create doubts about the police’s role in the investigation.

Duke also attacked the testimony of Winslow Smith, the preacher, whom his client had claimed was Forrester’s male companion.

He called into question how Smith had found the William Street property if as he claimed he had never visited the property prior to the day Forrester’s body was discovered.

He argued too that even though Smith was there when Forrester’s body was discovered, he was never required to give a statement to the police nor was he called to give evidence before the court prior to his appearance almost at the end of the trial.

The lawyer then attempted to insinuate that Forrester’s murder was linked to certain religious rituals practised by the church she had been a part of.

And although Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire intervened, reminding Duke that he is walking on thin ice by making such inferences, he made several references to spiritual practices thereafter.

“I put to you that these young men, my client, had no motive, no reason to kill his aunty,” Duke told the jury.

Duke closed his argument by reminding the 12 men and women that they have the responsibility to do the right thing, since nothing happened in the house that night.

Forrester’s 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.

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