Father tells jury of finding “cold” bodies of daughter, grandsons

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A distraught father has told a jury of finding the “cold”, lifeless bodies of his daughter and two grandsons at their Anna Catherina, West Coast Demerara home on September 21, 2012.

Kumar Persaud was on Monday testifying in the trial of 36-year-old Abishai Caesar, who is accused of the triple murder. The murder accused, represented by Attorney-at-law Rachael Bakker, is on trial before Justice Sandil Kissoon at the Demerara High Court.

It is alleged that on September 24, 2012, at Anna Catherina, West Coast Demerara (WCD), Abishai Caesar murdered 41-year-old liquor store owner Jennifer Persaud and her sons: Afridi Bacchus, six, and 18-month-old Jadon Persaud. The murder accused has pleaded not guilty.

State Counsel Lisa Cave is presenting the case for the prosecution. During her opening remarks, Cave told the jurors that during September 2012, Caesar resided with his reputed wife Zoey Phillips at Anna Catherina. The couple were Jennifer Persaud’s neighbours. According to the prosecutor, between September 21 and 22, 2012, Caesar told his reputed wife that he was going over to Jennifer Persaud’s house because he wanted money. Cave said Caesar told Phillips that he would return home after getting the cash.

Murder accused
Abishai Caesar

When he returned home, the prosecutor said, Caesar told his reputed wife what he had done to Persaud and her two children. The next day, the lifeless bodies of Persaud and her two sons were discovered by her father in their home.

According to Cave, the Police conducted investigations, and on April 22, 2016, Phillips went to the Police station and reported what Caesar had done to Jennifer Persaud and her family. He was subsequently charged with the murders.

The media reported Phillips told detectives that a short while after Caesar had gone over to the woman’s house, she had heard screams.
Phillips informed the Police that Caesar had gone to rob the woman, but whilst doing so, she woke up and saw him. Because she would be able to identify him, he was forced to attack her, killing her and her sons in the process. Caesar reportedly told his reputed wife what had happened.

Phillips had also told the Police that she was forced to keep quiet about the incident because Caesar was abusive.

Kumar Persaud testified that on September 21, 2012, he got off from work at about 21:30h and left for his Friendship, East Bank Demerara home. He recounted that when he reached home, his wife told him something, after which he left for his daughter’s Anna Catherina, WCD home.

The witness told the court that he went over to one of his now-dead daughter’s neighbours who informed him that she had not seen Persaud. Kumar Persaud said that in order for him to gain access to his daughter’s yard, he and another one of his grandsons had gone through a “zinc sheet that was flopping.”

“As I went through the zinc and we enter the yard, I noticed that the back door was open. I open the door, I turn to my grandson and told him not to touch anything. I went to the counter and, looking from the counter, there was a bed there, and nothing, and the house was dark at the time,” he added.

According to the dead woman’s father, “I decided to go upstairs…I went to the first room, and I told my grandson to check the last room. I saw clothing for a child on the ground. I saw [Jadon’s] two feet out of the netting…I went over the bar and hold onto the two feet, they were cold and stiff…”

He said that he found little Arif lying across his mother’s chest. “He was also cold,” Kumar Persaud said, adding that Jadon rolled out from the netting in the bedroom Jennifer was in. The man said his grandchild was bleeding from the neck. “…so, I turn to my grandson and told him to let us go downstairs and call the Police. I call Leonora Police Station.”

He recalled that, a few minutes later, ranks from the Community Policing Group arrived, but he told them that they cannot enter the house. The father added that about 30 minutes later, a Police rank arrived and he told him, “Let us go inside,” and they went upstairs.

He recalled that the Policeman was on his phone for a while, and shortly after, other Policemen arrived at the scene.

Kumar Persaud said that on September 24, 2012, he witnessed the post mortem examinations being conducted on the remains of his daughter and grandchildren.

This is Caesar’s second trial for these murders. His first trial had ended in a hung jury in 2019.