Akim Accepts Manslaughter Verdict for Death of Canadian Woman

December 7 is the date set for the sentencing of 27-year old Akim Frank who pleaded guilty last week to Manslaughter for the 2015 death of Canadian national, Dr. Linnea Veinotte, who was attached to St. George’s University.

Akim Frank, who pleaded guilty to Manslaughter in the December

Frank, a resident of Jean Anglais, St. George’s, was initially charged with non-capital murder but struck a deal with State Prosecutors for a lesser sentence.

The matter came up last week Thursday at the No. 2 High Court in St. George’s, before Guyanese-born High Court Judge, Justice Paula Gilford.

Frank who was represented in court by criminal defense Attorney Peter David, entered his plea on Manslaughter after accepting an offer put forward by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), based on the facts and circumstances of the case.

The accused has been held on remand at the Richmond Hill Prison, since turning himself in to police six days after Veinotte’s husband reported her missing on December 6, 2015, after she never returned home from walking her dog in the vicinity of Lance Aux Epines, Grand Anse.

The now convicted man, who faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, reportedly struck the deceased with a borrowed SUV in an area known as Coral Crescent.

He admitted to police investigators that he ditched her body in bushes somewhere in the vicinity of the Golf Course in Grand Anse, where it was discovered six days later, partly decomposed.

The 26-year old suspect later told police investigators that he went into Lance Aux Epines to drop-off someone and was driving the vehicle with speed since he was late in bringing it back to the owner.

Frank reportedly said that after running into the woman and the dog, he stopped and decided to pick up Linnea, who fell to the ground in an attempt to carry her to the St. George’s General hospital for medical treatment.

He put the injured lady into the back of the vehicle and took the route leading into Grand Anse Valley to get into the city.

The accused said that while driving the vehicle he noticed that it started to wobble and when he stopped he realised that he had a flat tyre.

He took the vehicle into an area along the road to change the tyre and when he saw a man and an animal he decided to drive off.

He also said that he stopped somewhere else along the route to change the tyre and when he looked back at the woman, he felt that she was dead and became real scared.

The accused said he decided to drive the vehicle to Golf Course to dump off the body.

The cause of Veinotte’s death was described as blunt force trauma to the chest and lower limb due to a vehicular accident.

Her body had decomposed to the point that pathologists could not say how long she survived after being hit or whether she died instantly.

Veinotte, the holder of a doctorate in genetics from the University of British Columbia, had taken up residency on island to teach at SGU.

Her husband, Matt who had alerted the police that she was missing, sat quietly in court during last week Friday’s proceedings in which Frank entered into a manslaughter plea deal.

Matt declined an offer from the local press to speak on the outcome of the case.

Battle over Bain’s lumber yard building

St. Patrick businessman and former Member of Parliament for St. Patrick West, Kenny Lalsingh has asked the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) to look at the possibility of instituting criminal charges against a brother of female government minister, Yolande Bain-Horsfor.

The visible padlock with the chain on the building

Speaking with THE NEW TODAY newspaper on Monday, Lalsingh said that he was forced to make a report to the Grenville Police station after the minister’s brother, Colville Bain unlawfully entered private property and allegedly attempted to damage a padlock on the building.

The controversy surrounds Bain’s Lumber Yard on Gladstone Rd in Grenville which was repossessed by the bank and sold to the former government minister.

The sale of the building marked the end of the Bain dynasty in the Town of Grenville which spanned over 60 years.

The Bain Empire was started by the late Norris Bain, the former Minister of Housing in the 1979-83 left-leaning People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG) of slain Prime Minister Maurice Bishop.

The late Bain was among three Cabinet colleagues who were executed at Fort George on October 19, 1983 alongside Bishop at the height of a bitter power struggle against moderates and hardliners within the Marxist-oriented New Jewel Movement (NJM).

The other prized property owned by the Bain family was Bain’s Hall on Ben Jones Street and was also recently sold by the bank.

Lalsingh accused Bain of adopting a hostile attitude towards him following the purchase of the Lumber Yard Building.

He spoke of trying to meet with the former operator of the building for the past two months to ensure a smooth hand over but was not getting any co-operation from him.

According to Lalsingh, he has not been able to get Bain to remove the items still in the building.

He said that he took the decision to put 24-hour security on the property with effect from last Sunday in order to take full charge of the building.

The new business owner charged that Bain allegedly entered the property on Monday and tried to break the new padlock in order to unlawfully enter the building.

The locked down building that once housed Bain’s Lumber yard

This, he said forced him to make a formal complaint to the nearby Grenville Police Station for the prosecution of Bain.

THE NEW TODAY was not able to reach the officer in charge of the station, Superintendent of Police, Sylvan Mc Intyre to ask him about the status of Lalsingh’s complaint.However, an Inspector of Police who was contacted at the station confirmed that a report was made by Lalsingh and that it was currently under investigation.

Lalsingh and the Bain family are said to be strong supporters of the ruling New National Party (NNP) government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.

THE NEW TODAY also spoke to the person given the responsibility by Lalsingh to provide security for the building that previously housed Bain’s Hardware and Lumber Yard.

He said that he took charge of the building on Sunday and put in 24-hour security around the property in order to ensure that no unauthorised person entered.

He stated that Colville Bain came onto the property on Monday and he immediately warned him that he was trespassing.

He said that the intruder attempted to cut the new padlock that was placed on the building and ordered him (Bain) to leave the compound.

This newspaper understands that Bain is taking issue with the manner in which the bank handled the matter.

The St. Andrew’s businessman promised a full interview with THE NEW TODAY to explain his side of the story in which he accused “the forces of evil” of trying to destroy the Bain & Sons brand that was started over 60 years ago by his late father.

Terry Marryshow at it again!!!

Once again it’s October and out come all Marryshow’s fantasies about something he never knew, because for almost the duration of the revolution he was not in Grenada. He can only depend on what others tell him.

He writes, “a process which was making a tremendous difference in the lives of the Grenadian people”. How can he know what a difference it made if he was not here?

Surely free secondary education did make a tremendous difference in their lives but for other Grenadians being thrown in prison without trial, tortured and sometimes killed made a tremendous difference in their lives.

He also wrote that the Coardites were drunk on ideology. Now what ideology could this be? It could only be the ideology of Marxist- Leninism, commonly known as communism.

And was it not Bishop who had indoctrinated his young followers with the same ideology? Could you not therefore say that he was killed by the monsters he had himself created?

It is on record that even when studying law in London, Bishop was making visits to communist countries. Yet Marryshow likens him to a “lamb” who had never been given the opportunity to air his opinions.

In fact, at meetings of the Central Committee he did air his opinions and he was also accused of spreading a false rumour about Coard.

“Not even the best friends of the Grenada revolution, Michael Manley of Jamaica or Fidel Castro of Cuba” writes Marryshow, “were given an opportunity to weigh in on the crisis.” So those are your best friends?
Manley who locked up over 500 people without trial just before the 1976 election and did more than anyone to cause Jamaica’s economic collapse, and the dictator Fidel Castro who sent so many to their deaths? With friends like that, who needs enemies?

“One can only look back with nostalgia and wonder what Grenada would have been like today after 34 years of revolution” muses Marryshow.

One only has to look at all other communist countries to know that there would be scarcity of food and other basics, there would be fear and lack of freedoms, lives of drudgery and hopelessness, with a power group of elites running the country enjoying all the privileges.

Gregory Thomas

Over 60 in the service!!!

It is very interesting to see so many over 60 aged old persons occupying jobs at the Ministry of Finance.

What is more interesting is that they are performing duties that anyone can do. There is no specialty in what they are doing.

So why are these people there when an attrition policy is in place and there is a reluctance to appoint in the Public Service.

Hungry Eye

Dustbin of history

Earlier this year, our brothers and sisters in Ghana, West Africa, pulled down a statue of the late P.M. Ghandi from their University, following pressure from the public who thought Ghandi was a racist who supported the apartheid system in South Africa.

The following is a quote by Ghandi, he said, “Kafirs (black) are as a rule uncivilised convicts even more so.

They are troublesome, very dirty and live almost like animals”. Ghandi – March 7, 1908.

As a person of African heritage, is this the kind of person whose bust should be placed any-where among our people? What has this racist ever done for the people of Grenada?

In his own country, he did absolutely nothing for the poor people of India including the (Dravidians Africans) – who occupied the South of India. They were at one time the largest group of African outside Africa according to the late Professor Ivan Sertima in his book – “Africa’s Gifts to Asia.”

If Indians in Grenada choose to celebrate the birthday of their leader Ghandi, they are free to do so in their own homes, but not among our young children who should be celebrating the life and times of those who fought against the evil system of the apartheid regime in South Africa.”

The bust of this racist man should be removed from its present location and thrown in the “dustbin of history”.

Josiah Rougier

The Needle Never Moved!!!

Grenada’s Ambassador to Moscow during the Revolution was a professor named Richard Jacob who once described a member of his diplomatic staff as “irredeemably dull”!

Jacob of the Old Testament made a ‘coat of many colours’ for his favourite son, Joseph, who was immeasurably brilliant! Last Sunday, the NDC leader seemed irredeemably lost in a ‘cloak of many words’!

He talked and talked, but never moved the needle!

Evidently, Burke is well able to eloquently describe the worst of the human condition in Grenada! However, for concrete solutions to the very problems, knock someone else’s door. Conditions of lacking in any poor society are distinctly party-neutral.

Obviously, no regime can benefit from bad conditions and so the existence of such conditions point to objective factors, especially a shortage of resources. Every Government of Grenada has had to face these unhappy conditions and that is not about to change.

Keep that in mind and add to it the following, “more jobs, less taxes, better healthcare and more opportunities”, compliments Victor. Having done so, one thing pops out at you, i.e. money! Where will Grenada get the money? The conditions of lacking can only be overcome by increased production of wealth not words. Grenada has a big economic production problem!

“Brother Naz” diagnosed correctly, but did not trust himself to lay out the cure. Not at all surprising, but it calls into question the party’s strategy for winning the elections. Remember, in our culture, we do not vote in Government, we vote out! And there are two grounds on which we do so.

Some might give credit to Burke for retreating from the original Convention theme. After all, neither he nor ‘his’ NDC has any reputation for fixing things in public affairs, nor for working together with others. Look at their persistent attacks on the Social Partners group that has been engaged with the regime and the NDC’s abandonment of several stakeholders working on the National Plan 2030 to write their own so-called Policy Agenda! Their clear intent was to up-stage the Plan!

Sunday, Burke shamelessly pulled a cheap stunt when he declared that any political party in Grenada could use his Policy Agenda! So that highly defective document has magically become a prized national asset! Burke’s Christmas gift to the NNP! Who is he trying to fool?

But how genuine can Burke be about “Putting People First” when he has vowed to engage in the politics on his “own terms”?

Can people embrace a leader who talks empowerment, but puts no liberating governance proposals on the table? This is an area where the NDC was thought of as having a comparative advantage over the NNP.

It was interesting to observe Burke’s incredible restraint in not presenting himself as a superior ‘economic manager’! Strangely, however, although the public finances collapsed under his stewardship as Minister of Finance, he was downright brazen to say “the Government put us in the arms of the IMF”! Was the Government not trying to ‘fix’ a national problem? Not chastened by his experiences at Finance, he does not even commit to a policy of stabilising the public finances!

Strangely too, he sends us to read his Policy Agenda after talking at length about the youth problem and IMANI. But he kept silent on his own proposal in the Policy Agenda to introduce the “HEART” as a new NDC youth program. If the IMANI is politicised, what do you say about the “HEART”? Give him credit if he has also retreated from that ill-advised proposal.

The leader may speak freely, but that freedom of speech may well freeze the NDC! No longer divided, but frozen! With no buzz, excitement or ‘rising tide’, the result is as plain as daylight!

One of the duties of leaders is not to mislead or letdown their followers. One of the duties of leaders is to inspire the people. One of the duties of leaders is to bring solutions to the basic problems of the people. One of the duties of leaders is to lift the party, not limit its chances. NDC people must have awakened on Monday to find that the needle never moved!

William Joseph

Is Peter David a soulless bête noire?

Grenada’s New National Party (NNP) government has been teetering on the verge of collapse since Prime Minister Keith Mitchell brought into his green house a man whom he openly accused of being allegedly corrupt, and whom he said had committed fraudulent activities in the US.

Prime Minister Mitchell held up documents in Grenada’s Parliament and he said he had the proof in his hands. He even spoke about how Peter David went with a gun to arrest his father. Yet knowing all this, Mitchell embraced and brought him into the political party.

Peter David even called Mitchell “a political opportunist, lacking in core principles, an opportunist and a hypocrite” compared to former Prime Minister Tillman Thomas (NDC) whom he described as “incorruptible” in comparison to Mitchell.

Peter David made a gamble joining the NNP political party, but it is blowing up in his face. He is in a very tough spot.

Just three years ago, the late legendary Lloyd Noel called on Grenadians not to forget “what we went through under the PRG and the RMC”.

“Grenadians must never forget what happened at Fort George,” he said.

Let’s not forget the ugly reality of Peter David’s stewardship. Peter knows that the people within the NNP political party come in two main types: the loud bullies who always back the wrong horse, and the others who like to bray loudly.

As Peter tries to hone his high-wire act on a national stage and shove Alexandra Otway Noel and Terry Forrester off the 2018 stage, it is instructive to realise that the act is not new, only the venue is.

Maintaining his own image, despite vast piles of facts that contradict it at every turn, he has an amazing ability to look good, while secretly acting badly. In that light, I offer some corrupt actions by Peter David.

This is the man whose ability to get himself judged by one set of standards, while actually operating with almost none, could seemingly be summarised by a twist of the old phrase: Who you gonna believe? His reputation or your lyin’ eyes?

Peter David will never become leader of the NNP, he will never become Prime Minister of Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique; let’s just get that out of the way right now.

He is pulling down the NNP, his pie-in-the-sky thinking and agenda simply doesn’t occur in representative democracies like ours.

He’s a one-note candidate, who concerns himself with nothing other than his lifelong obsession with inequality, power and wealth.

Grenadians would not elect an avowed RMC and maybe most importantly, because once the NNP considers Peter a sworn enemy, rather than the perfect foil, they think they can use to destroy Burke, it would eat them alive.

He can’t be trusted; he’s an establishment shill with too much baggage and too little integrity, attached to him.

On the other hand, he’s been allegedly cast as a soulless bête noire, a fundamentally dishonest political hustler; he has zero credibility, no morals at all.

“The greatest trick the Devil pulled was convincing the world there was only one of him.” ~ David Wong

It is also alleged, Peter has zero credibility, don’t treat him like entertainment. He stands for nothing, he has no belief in nothing, he has no clarity, a train wreck, that’s what Grenadians are watching.

Peter is a coward and remains so up to today.

Helen Grenade

Baptiste pleads not guilty to Non-Capital Murder

Twenty-three-year-old Labourer, Phillip Baptiste has pleaded not guilty to a Non-Capital Murder charge brought against him in connection to the March 2017 death of his uncle, 55-year-old Glen “Brass” Baptiste, who allegedly died after receiving a fatal blow to the back of his head with a glass bottle.

Phillip Baptiste – faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment

The youngster, entered the plea last week Thursday, when he appeared before Madam Justice Paula Gilford at the No. 2 High Court in St. George’s, represented by criminal defense attorney, Peter David.

The Sanko, Boca resident, who was described by his own father as being problematic due to constant smoking of ganja and heavy alcohol drinking appeared calm in court and was supported by his mother, who anxiously sat and listened to the court proceedings.

THE NEW TODAY had visited the small village after the killing and one person described “Brass” as a very helpful person, one that villagers, who did basket making, will turn towards to go into the mountain and bring down bamboo for them to ply their trade.

According to the father of the murder accused and also the brother of the deceased, “Brass” would normally charge $20 to $40.00 depending on the amount of bamboo collected and would use his payment on drinks in the village rum shop.

He said that ‘Brass” would get “high” and exchange words with others in the rum shop but did not mean no harm to anyone.

“Ah really don’t know what he (my son) would have killed him for. He didn’t have to kill him”, he remarked.
Saddened that his own would go to the extent of killing his own uncle, the father of the murder accused told THE NEW TODAY that he did not know what exactly caused the altercation between the two but if he was around the incident would not have happened.

Back then, the father vowed not to give any legal support to his son, who he said neglected education and “used to go in town and drink out the money (he received to go to school), he and his friends.”

Having entered a plea of not guilty, Baptiste, who faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, now awaits the start of his trial, in which he will seek to prove his innocence with the assistance of his attorney.

Chinese Embassy symposium on 19th National Congress

The Chinese Embassy in Grenada held a symposium on Saturday aimed at helping to push forward the agenda of President Xi Jinping who strengthened his grip on the country at the just-ended 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

Invitees at the Symposium

Resident Chinese Ambassador, Zhao Yongchen brought together members of the media, friends of the Chinese embassy and government representative, Senator Winston Garraway, the Minister of State with responsibility for Natural Disaster and Information.

In addressing the gathering, Ambassador Yongchen said that the ruling communist party in China will continue to expand into the wider world for the next five years.

This is a clear indication that Beijing is making moves to rival the United States as a major superpower in world affairs.

Ambassador Yongchen said, “The Communist Party of China not only strives for the well-being of the Chinese people but also human progress” and “to make new and greater contributions for mankind is our Party’s abiding mission”.

He spoke of China seeking “to foster a new type of international relations and build a community with a shared future for mankind”.

“…China will continue to hold the banner of peace, development, cooperation, and mutual benefit and uphold its fundamental foreign policy goal preserving world peace and promoting common development.

“China remains firm in its commitment to strengthening friendship and cooperation with other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of the Peaceful Coexistence, and forging a new form of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice, and win-win cooperation.”

“China will deepen relations with its neighbours in accordance with the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit, and inclusiveness and the policy of forging friendship and partnership with its neighbours.

Two Grenadian journalist, Rawle Titus, head of the Government Information Service (GIS) and Senior Reporter with the Informer newspaper, Johnson Richardson are back in the country after visiting China to cover the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party.

Richardson gave a report on the speech given by President Xi and reiterated what was outlined by the Chinese Ambassador.

According to Richardson, one of the high points of the speech delivered by the Chinese President is the recognition that China and the rest of the world are currently in the midst of profound and complex changes.

He said the Chinese leader called on all to adopt the right approach to development and endeavour to transform the growth model.

“The President noted that China is making new ground in opening up on all fronts, openness brings progress, while self-seclusion leaves one behind.

This is an apparent condemnation of the new policies being pursued by U.S President, Donald Trump to “make America great again” by seeking to overturn a number of free trade arrangements with countries around the world and to look more inwards.

According to Johnson, the Chinese leader stressed that Beijing would not close its doors to the world but instead will become more and more open.

“Brothers and sisters, I must admit that my trip to China this time was a major eye opener and … I want to use this opportunity to call on all Grenadians to place less emphasis on our limitation, adopt the Chinese model, pursue your dream for we can only know how far we can get if we try.”

China and Grenada resumed diplomatic relations in 2005 when current Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell broke off ties with the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan which Beijing regards as a renegade province.

Clouden: Jurors need to be trained

Grenada’s most experienced criminal defense attorney, Anselm Clouden has called for Jurors to be given at least one week of training in order to handle high-profile cases like murder.

Defense Attorney Anselm Clouden

Clouden made the call as he challenged the stiff prison sentence handed down by female high court judge, Madam Justice Paula Gilford after a 12-member jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict on 62-year-old Albert Alexis for murder.

Justice Gilford imposed a life sentence on Alexis for Non-Capital Murder for the May 2015 death of 31-year-old Alson Henry of Plaissance, St. Andrew.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Clouden said that Jurors need some form of training to get more acquainted with certain legal concepts before being empaneled for high court service.

“I think our jurors need when they come in, to not only (receive) a summation by the judge, but they need a week in training so that they (can have an) appreciation (of) legal concepts”, he remarked.

“You take a fellow from his workplace, you put them on the jury, he doesn’t know anything…and then he hears all kinds of technical arguments by counsel and counsel’s submission and he feels if the police bring him (an accused person) here, he’s guilty and that’s where we are today”, he said.

Clouden has served notice that he intends to file an appeal against the stiff prison sentence imposed by the judge on October 27.

Henry died following multiple stab wounds to his body after an altercation with Alexis over a piece of land.
An autopsy report revealed that the deceased died as a result of Hypovolemic Shock due to a stab wound to the chest.

According to Clouden, the sentence handed down by Justice Gilford was “a bit excessive” and felt it was done due to “a lack of sentencing act and a lack of sentencing guidelines.”

He said, “You have in the UK, published every year, sentencing guidelines emanating from a sentencing act. So, there is a clear maximum, there is a clear minimum. You do a minimum of say 25 years and you become eligible for parole”.

The attorney pointed out that this actually happened in a case in the United States involving football star, OJ Simpson.

Clouden said that Simpson was sent to prison and due to his good behaviour, he was entitled to parole and an application to this effect went before a Parole board,

“We have a Mercy Committee here but that is only in respect to murder and they rarely review cases of long sentences with a minimum time served, and that could only happen if we have certain sentencing guidelines.

“So, the judge in pronouncing sentence must say, I sentence you to twenty years hard labour, at a minimum of 10 years (and) you would become entitled to parole. So, you know after you do 10 years, you can begin to apply to the Parole board to review your case – you (can) do a minimum of 10 (years) subject to early release.”

The attorney spoke of the issue of self-defense coming up during the trial as all the evidence presented pointed in that direction.

Clouden told reporters the fact that the killing of Henry was not pre-meditated, the judge should have taken that into consideration in handing down sentence.

He said, “Albert’s case was not malice or forethought. We have seen in recent times someone getting 80 years without a minimum period served after which he can be paroled. We don’t have it. We have no certainty. The sentences for offences throughout the region vary greatly; in some jurisdictions you may get eight years for murder, it depends on the factual circumstances.

“…In this case of Alexis, he hadn’t premeditated anything. They were drinking, there was an altercation when they left the bar, they were arguing they get into a scuffle and he died…he was stabbed and died. What I am saying is that there was no malice or forethought, it is no premeditation, it’s a sort of spur of the moment, so life imprisonment is sort of harsh in that circumstances.”

Clouden gave reporters an insight into the arguments he intends to provide to the Court of Appeal justices in order to get the sentence altered.

“The extent of the sentence, we think it’s exceedingly harsh. That type of case, that type of offence, that type of offender, the age of the offender must be taken into consideration. He is not a young man, so, when you sentence him for life without saying a term certain – this is the same grounds on which the Maurice Bishop 17 sentences were commuted because it says life – does that mean it is not for life, for a term of years?

“…The surrounding sentence of the (Albert) case itself does not warrant such a harsh sentence, notwithstanding the verdict and it is well known in legal circles that juries sometimes return perverse verdicts. This is why you have pardons post-humus – Her Majesty goes to the cemetery after a jury would have returned a verdict of guilty of murder, the person is hung, the evidence reveals a year, two years later that this person could not have been the offender and the Queen goes (and) pardon him in the cemetery.”