Former senior cop at Bartica narrowly missed being massacre victim

– court hears

Retired Assistant Superintendent of Police Lewis Goulding may have been saved from being a victim of the Bartica massacre by a woman who stopped him on the street as he was heading there on the night of the incident that left 12 persons dead.

Indicted for the February 17, 2008 killings, are Mark Royden Williams, Dennis Williams, called ‘Anaconda,’ and Roger Simon. The charge against the trio, who have pleaded not guilty, is that they murdered Lance Corporal Zaheer Zakir and Constables Shane Fredericks and Ron Osborne, Edwin Gilkes, Dexter Adrian, Irving Ferreira, Deonarine Singh, Ronald Gomes, Ashraf Khan, Abdool Yasseen, Errol Thomas, and Baldeo Singh.

Testifying before Jus-tice Roxane George and a jury hearing the trial of the trio, Goulding recounted that he was walking along First Avenue, heading to the Bartica Police Station around 9 on the night in question, and was about 60 feet away, when a woman ran out and told him something.

Goulding, who was the officer in charge of the station at the time, related to the court, that as a result of what the woman told him, he passed the station and secured himself in a nearby house.

He said that shortly after, he heard rapid gunshots coming from the direction of the police station. Goulding, who said he was peeping from safety, told the court that after sometime had elapsed, he decided to go back onto the road, as he heard no further sounds.

As he was making his way onto the road, however, the witness said, he saw the police Land Rover approaching with about eight men and went back into what he called his safe place. He said that while he could not recognize the men, he knew that none of them were police officers.

The witness said that the vehicle drove in the direction of the stelling and he heard an explosion. He said he exited his hiding place some five minutes after he heard the explosion and sometime after that, he heard a boat engine startup, and then die in the distance.

The retired policeman said it was after all this that he eventually made his way to the station, and realized that something “wrong” had transpired there.

He said he saw the injured Constables Benjamin and Campbell with what appeared to be blood and gunshot wounds on their bodies.

In the kitchen area, Goulding related seeing Constable Fredericks and Lance Corporal Zakir with gunshot wounds; they appeared to be dead.

He said he found the lifeless body of Constable Osbourne with gunshot wounds, in a cramped position in the station compound, holding onto the gate.

Goulding said he received certain information, as a result of which he went to the stelling, where he saw five additional lifeless bodies, also bearing gunshot wounds.

Superintendent of Police Michael Sutton, who was Second-in-Command at the Bartica Police Station, and was there on the night in question, had previously testified to the station coming under fire.

He had related that in the aftermath, Lance Corporal Zakir and Constables Fredericks and Osborne, were mortally wounded.

The trial continues on December, 6 at 9 am at the High Court in Georgetown.

Justice George informed that the court will be on a break for two weeks, during which time both she and Prosecutor Diana Kaulesar will be out.

The State is represented by Kaulesar, in association with Stacy Goodings, while attorneys Peter Hugh, Saphier Hussain, and Roger Yearwood are representing Simon, Dennis Williams and Mark Williams, respectively.

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