Trinidad – Man set on fire succumbs to injuries
PORT OF SPAIN –– Less than three hours after a 47-year-old woman set ablaze her ex-boyfriend, against whom she had a restraining order, he succumbed to his burn injuries at hospital early yesterday.
Dead is father of one, Churchill James, of Doorbal Road, Brasso Piedra Road in Brasso, central Trinidad. He was employed as a labourer at the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation (CTTRC) in Couva.
The woman reported to police investigators that the incident occurred at about 10:20 p.m. on Saturday, when she was at her home at Brasso Piedra Road in Brasso, together with friend Julien St Hilliare, of La Fillete Road, Paramin Village, Maraval.
She further reported that James, who lived a few houses away, armed with a cutlass, jumped over her galvanised fence, opened her front door and attempted to enter her house.
Fearful for her life, the woman emptied gas from a brush-cutter into a container, poured it on James then took a lighter and set him ablaze while he stood at the front door.
Engulfed in flames, James ran into the yard where he fell into a drain. With the use of a bucket of water, the woman put out the flames.
Police said an ambulance rushed James to the Accident & Emergency Department of the Chaguanas Health Facility, but he died at about 12:48 a.m. yesterday while undergoing emergency treatment.
Senior Superintendent Johnny Abraham, Superintendent Adams, Sergeant Toolaram, together with constables Ramdial, Diamond and Singh and other officers of the Central Division as well as the Homicide Bureau visited the scene.
Speaking to Newsday yesterday, James’ uncle Dave Rajkumar recalled that he last saw him alive at about 8 p.m. on Saturday.
“Churchill was here and then he left. I know I saw him, but his car remained here so wherever he went he must have walked to go.
“He was a nice guy, cool and very hardworking. This is the first time this family has had a tragedy,” Rajkumar said.
He added that the family learnt of the death yesterday morning when police officers visited them with the news.
He noted James was not known to be violent, although he heard rumours the woman had a restraining order against him.
“I heard about a restraining order but I never asked him about it.
“I do not ask big people about their business. Police came this morning and told my wife about the news but I was not around when they came,” Rajkumar added.
Another relative added, “He is dead so he cannot defend himself now.”
The woman remained in police custody up to last evening assisting them with the investigation.An autopsy is expected to be performed today at the Forensic Science Centre St James.