Woman accused of chopping man’s hand taken to safe house

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

A woman shows bruises she says were inflicted on her by a male relative in Barrackpore on Saturday. A female relative who allegedly severed the man’s left hand is in a safe house pending investigations. – File photo/Yvonne Webb

THE woman accused of chopping off the hand of an elderly male relative has been released from custody without any charges being laid thus far.

She has been taken to a safe house as the authorities investigate the incident in order to decide whether to lay charges.

There have been calls for the police not to lay charges against the woman, who has no previous convictions, given the circumstances which led to the chopping – reportedly a domestic abuse situation.

One of her relatives told the Newsday the woman is not at her Barrackpore home or with any other relatives, but is in a safe place. She said the family has not been able to speak with her, as investigations are continuing.

The relative said she was grateful for the response to the plight of the 20-year-old woman, and to the attorneys who have been calling to help. However, she is yet to meet with any attorney.

She said the community of Barrackpore has also been very supportive of her situation.

She said the woman is very remorseful, as it was never her intention to harm the 61-year-old man. She only wanted to save the 58-year-old woman he was abusing from certain death.

A daughter of the man, who visited him at the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH), where he is recovering, said he told the family he too is sorry for what has happened.

“He can’t recall everything, but this has come like a shock to him as well – him losing his hand. As he is sobering up, the reality is now sinking in. He is now realising what his drunkenness has done to his family and what might happen.

“He said he was sorry for what has happened and then the tears started. He started to cry.”

The man is a sanitation worker with the San Fernando City Corporation.

His daughter said while the situation calls for forgiveness and healing, she does not know if the family can trust him and allow him to come back to the home he shared with his victim.

“My sisters and I can forgive him. We don’t hold any grudge against him, but we are afraid.”

She said in the past every time he came home drunk and became violent, he expressed remorse when the alcohol wore off, but that was merely temporary.

“He would go right back to being abusive. We born and grow up in this abusive situation,” she said.

His victim is still also warded at the SFGH.

“I visited her today (Tuesday). She is doing okay. The doctors are treating her head wound and doing an assessment.”

The female victim said she has suffered domestic abuse for the past 40 years. She said in 2022 she took out a restraining order against her abuser, but that did not stop the blows.

Last Friday, she was at her Barrackpore home when she was attacked with an iron chair and was beaten on her head, back, hip, legs.

She cried out for help when her attacker began choking her, and that alerted the female relative who came to her rescue.

As the woman had trouble breathing, the young woman tried to persuade the man to stop. When he refused, she grabbed a cutlass and hit him with it, severing his left hand at the wrist. He also received two chop wounds to his right hand.

The abused woman said if the young female relative had not come to her rescue, she would have been dead.

“I was freaking out,” she told the Newsday last Saturday. “I thought he was going to kill me.”