Murder trial 11 years later

PORT-OF-SPAIN – Murray Forde has gone on trial in the San Fernando High Court for the murder, eleven years ago, of Annette Sawh, who was stabbed to death with the sharpened end of a spoon.

The State opened its case before Justice Carla Browne-Antoine in the Third Criminal Court yesterday.

State attorney Sabrina Dougdeen-Jaglal told the jury that Forde was charged with killing Annette Maxwell Sawh on a date unknown between February 10 and February 14 2002.

She went missing on a Carnival Monday that year.

Dougdeen-Jaglal said that while on that day, most were thinking about Jouvert or playing mas, Sawh was focused on work and was heading to her domestic job.

But on Ash Wednesday her body was found in a cocoa estate. An autopsy found she was stabbed 20 times in the abdomen. Two of the stab wounds were so deep that they grazed her back bone, Dougdeen-Jaglal said.

Investigations led officers to Forde, 52, of Rio Claro.

According to the State’s case, Forde, a labourer, told officers that he saw Sawh walking along the road and used the spoon which he had sharpened with a file, to stab Sawh, 38, in the back of the neck. He pulled her into bushes where he again stabbed her and near an immortelle tree.

The State’s case is that Forde was seen waiting for a taxi near the road that could lead to where Sawh’s body was found.

A private for hire taxi driver picked him up and described Forde as being muddy and smelling “like bush”.

After his arrest, Forde took officers back to the area. A file which Dougdeen-Jaglal said was used to sharpen the spoon, was found on the roof of a shed.

The murder weapon was not found.

State attorney Shabana Shah is appearing alongside Dougdeen-Jaglal in the trial. Defence attorney Richard Valere is representing Forde. The 12 member jury and two alternates were empanelled for the trial on May 15 but the matter launched into legal arguments which lasted for several months.

The case is expected to continue on Monday with the State calling its first witness. (Trinidad Express)

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