A mother of seven was left critical in a city hospital last night after she was severely chopped by her partner, who subsequently took his own life following an argument over infidelity at Swan Village, Soesdyke-Linden Highway.
The attack during which Melicia Andrews, 31, was chopped about her body occurred around 3.30 pm.
Andrews was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital, where she was undergoing surgery last night.
Her assailant, Ian English, 38, a labourer with whom she reportedly shared an abusive relationship for several years, hanged himself after the attack.
He was discovered hanging from a tree a short distance away from where he carried out the attack. The cutlass he used to chop Andrews was recovered next to his body.
Residents said English lived with his wife in Kuru Kuru but would stay at Andrews’ home from time to time. He was the father of one of Andrews’ seven children.
The police said their preliminary investigations revealed that the attack unfolded yesterday afternoon at the Lot 22 Swan Village, Soesdyke-Linden Highway, the home of Andrews’ mother, Janet Domingo, who had earlier been counselling English.
English left and returned with a cutlass and inflicted several chops about Andrews’ body.
Police added that English subsequently cut a piece of rope and ventured into the nearby bushes where he was discovered hanging.
When Stabroek News visited the area, a number of relatives and villagers had gathered in shock at what transpired and many were hoping that Andrews survives.
Chops all over
A Rural Constable and resident of the community, Wynette (only name given), told Stabroek News she and her husband were the first to respond after they were informed of the chopping.
The woman explained that Ranita Andrews, a relative of the victim, ran to their home for help. “She ran and come to us and said, ‘Y’all come now! Come now! Ian chopping up Melicia in the mother house!’” Wynette recounted.
She said without hesitation she and her husband went over to the house.
While her husband was on the phone with the police and was trying to find a vehicle to rush Andrews to the hospital, Wynette tended to the wounded woman.
“When I reached, he wasn’t there and I saw her lying on the ground with blood all over her body. I called for her and I said Melicia you dead? You dead? But she answered and asked for water,” Wynette said.
“She has chops all over her body: Her neck, ears, shoulders, hands and a finger even come off,” she added.
Wynette said that as the woman called for water, English attempted to return to the yard. When other villagers who had responded to her cries for help saw him returning with the cutlass, out of fear they ran away.
Wynette noted that English tried to return to the yard but a Rural Constable who was close to him held him back. However, he managed to collect a length of rope and went away.
The woman added that she was told that after the injured woman fell while trying to escape from her attacker, English fired additional chops about her body.
“She said, ‘Aunty Wynette don’t leave! Don’t leave! Ayo gon leave me for he to come kill me?’ I tell she no,” the woman said as she explained that she armed herself with a baton, which she was prepared to use if English returned.
According to Wynette, when she asked Andrews what triggered the attack, the woman said domestic problems. She noted that although they are a part of the community cricket team, Andrews never clearly indicated if she was abused by English. “All she would say is people would see a smile on a woman’s face but don’t know what is happening in her home,” she said.
Got something going
Meanwhile, Domingo told Stabroek News that she was sitting under her house in a hammock yesterday afternoon when Andrews visited and informed her that she and English had problems.
She added that she began to enquire what happened when Andrews told her that English had been accusing her of infidelity.
She said Andrews, who is employed at a dog food business, told her that English had been accusing her of having a relationship with one of her male co-workers. “So she (Andrews) tell me he (English) blame she with one ah the men working there, just by talking to this man and he stop she from speaking to this man,” Domingo noted.
Andrews also told her that English was interrogating her yesterday morning.
At this point, Domingo said they noticed English coming up the road and Andrews went upstairs.
She said she invited English into the yard and he came. “…Well she (Andrews) did done gone upstairs, so he seh ‘Wah, yuh gone upstairs? Yuh frighten meh? Me nah guh do yuh nothing.’ But only she know wah the threaten word he geh she, dah is why she run up,” Domingo related.
Domingo said she would later learn that the man had told her, “I coulda done yuh from the time when I did beat yuh with the firewood. If I know I coulda done yuh.”
It was as a result of this comment that she left to go to her mother’s house. Andrews’ house is located about an eight-minute walk away from her mother’s home.
Domingo said after he arrived, English began to explain his concerns to her about her daughter’s male co-worker. “So, when he (English) come now and he start flare up, meh seh ‘Ian, if this is a table hay, this is the workers working on a table. If this man (Andrews co-worker) tell meh give me dah bag or move something, she (Andrews) still gah fah talk to the man. How yuh going on like dah? Like a lil child’ just suh me tell he. And he seh, ‘No, this girl, I tell she one thing and she still doing it. Like she and this man got something going,” she said.
According to Domingo, English tried to get Andrews to return to the bottom flat for them to sort the situation but she stayed hidden upstairs.
He subsequently left for home and Domingo went upstairs to Andrews.
Afterwards, Domingo said her other daughter called her to have lunch, which she shared with Andrews. “…Is when she (Andrews) finish eating the food then he come back and he come straight underneath this house. Me can’t say if he sit down on the bench or he sit down in this hammock because me ain’t see… he start talk again. So I tell he, ‘If this relationship can’t work out, why you nah leave she (Andrews) and go back to yuh wife and go and live a happy life with yuh wife with yuh children Ian?’ the mother explained.
She said she was alerted to the attack after she heard the sound of the cutlass being pulled.
As a result, Domingo said she called out to Andrews. “Meh seh, ‘Melicia!’ And by time she jump, quick time he meet upstairs and by time she push the door fuh lock the door, he already reach,” she said.
Domingo related that she tried her best to save her daughter but English fought with her and even attempted to chop her. As a result, she said she was forced to leave the house and alert neighbours, who rushed to Andrews’ assistance.
She didn’t tell
Domingo explained to this newspaper that prior to the attack, she didn’t know her daughter was in an abusive relationship.
She said she learnt of everything only yesterday, when Andrews finally spoke out. “Before now, earlier, this is last week, she (Andrews) seh he (English) brutalise she but she didn’t tell nobody. All the time this thing did going on. Is only today me know dah is the life he been living with she. A time she seh he cuff she up and bungie she eye, she couldn’t even go to work and nobody ain’t know dah. Is today she come and relate although dah going on how long,” she said.