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Deadly fire recalled

woman who escaped death at campus trendz relives ordeal

COURT TODAY BLOCKA woman who just managed to escape the deadly Campus Trendz fire nearly six years ago, today told the court she remembered seeing one man holding the store owner at knife point, while another threw a Molotov cocktail just mere feet away from where she was standing.

That was the evidence given by Lizann Cox as the murder trial of Jamar Dewayne Orlando Bynoe entered it’s second day in Court No.2 of the Supreme Court.

Bynoe of Headley’s Land, Bank Hall, St Michael is accused of murdering Shara Griffith, Kelly-Ann Welch, Pearl Cornelius, Kellyshaw Olivierre, Nikita Belgrave and Tiffany Harding on September 3, 2010.

Under examination by Principal Crown Counsel Alliston Seale, Cox recalled that she, along with a couple of friends, had journeyed to the store after work to purchase a pair of shoes.

Cox, of Chapman Lane, St Michael said shortly after she and her friends entered the store she heard screaming behind her.

She said when she looked back she saw a man holding the store owner at knifepoint, while another man took “a bottle with a cloth in it” out of a bag and proceeded to light it and throw it into the store, about 12 feet away from where she was standing.

“The bottle broke and everything catch afire. A girl that works there ran into a room at the back of the store and me and my two friends ran into the room with her,” Cox recalled.

However, she said that room had a door which led to another room and while her friends and the worker decided to retreat there, she opted not to.

“When I look around I saw flames and smoke and the place was burning. I told my friends that the place burning down and we should leave because everybody gone.

“I run out the store and when I got outside I saw my two friends behind me,” Cox recounted.

She said she witnessed the fire getting bigger before she eventually made her way home.

Earlier, the day’s first witness Dr David Gaskin told the court that Welch, Griffith and Cornelius had died of smoke inhalation.

The consultant pathologist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital revealed that he conducted post-mortems on the three women on September 9, 2010.

He said all three young ladies suffered partial thickness burns about their bodies, with Cornelius being the most badly affected, having suffered burns across 25 per cent of her body.

Welch was burnt across 20 per cent of her body, while Griffith suffered 10 per cent burns.

Dr Gaskin said the fact that soot was found in the women’s nostrils, throats and tracheas, pointed to death by smoke inhalation.

He explained that they could have died from asphyxiation, carbon dioxide poisoning or cyanide poisoning as a result of inhaling smoke.

Police constable Stacia Spencer, a photographer with the Forensic Scenes of Crime Unit, also took the stand today.

She recalled going to Tudor Street and taking six photographs of the building as well as five females laying on the ground.

The trial, which is being heard by Madam Justice Michelle Weekes, resumes tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.

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