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Rukmanie Badrinauth, also known as ‘Sister Jean’, of 56 First Street, Foulis Housing Scheme, said the gruelling ordeal lasted for about 10 minutes during which she was punched several times in the head and beaten by the bandits, who threatened to rape and then kill her.
The 46-year-old woman said she pleaded with the bandits not to kill her and to take whatever cash and jewellery she had.
Recalling the terrifying experience, Sister Jean told this newspaper yesterday that when her husband, Guraj Badrinauth, 52, left for work shortly before 4:30 hours, she closed the door and then went straight to the toilet inside the lower flat of the building. Badrinauth works as a 'chain-boy' at the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GUYSUCO) Enmore Estate and was recently presented with a gold medal by his employers for having served the sugar corporation over the past 25 years.
Jean said while in the toilet, she heard "a scrambling sound" outside in the kitchen and thinking it was her pet cat, she called out for "Suzie, Suzie!"
The woman said when she subsequently came out of the toilet she was immediately greeted with "one hard cuff" from a masked man standing in front of the toilet door. "When he cuff me in the head, he told me to 'don't f...ing talk, just walk'," the still visibly shaken woman recalled.
Sister Jean said she felt a bit dizzy from the sudden and unexpected blow, but managed to make a few paces towards the stove, on which was a pot of boiling rice, and turned it off.
She said the bandit then ordered her upstairs where she was confronted with two other bandits, who were already in the upper flat of the two-storeyed building. According to the housewife, all three men were wearing what looked like black 'topes' over their head with only ‘eye holes’. She said the one who was beating her had a handgun while the other two bandits were armed with a knife and a piece of iron.
The woman said two of the bandits were of African descent, while one appeared to be of Indian descent. She said, too, that one of the men had the image of a snake tattoed on his arm while the one of Indian origin was "a bit tall, thin and dark-skinned."
Sister Jean said the bandit who took her upstairs threw her on the floor and then sat on her, dealing her several punches to the head and all the time using expletives and demanding money.
The housewife said she gave them several envelopes of money (GUYSUCO pay-packets), which belonged to her husband's brother. According to the woman, her brother-in-law (her husband's brother) does not live with them, but would leave his pay-packets with them every week since she would cook for him.
She also gave the men $150,000 in cash, which she had at home at the time. Meanwhile the men were ransacking the wardrobe, where they found the gold token, which was had been presented to Badrinauth by GUYSUCO.
The woman said she cried throughout the entire ordeal. She told the Chronicle that two of the bandits left the house, telling the third one who remained (the Indian one) to kill her after he was finished raping her.
The woman, however, noted that she fell at the bandit's feet, crying and pleading with him not to rape or kill her. She said she gave him two gold chains in the process and told him to take it since it was the only thing she had left. She said the bandit took the two gold chains and subsequently left without doing her any harm.
As soon as the robbers left, Sister Jean related that she began to scream. Neighbours immediately responded armed with sticks and cutlasses. But, the bandits had successfully escaped.
"It's a horrible experience. I live with my husband for 28 years now and he never beat me or raise his hands to hit me. My father never hit me...and now a next man (referring to the bandits) come in my home and cuff me and beat me. It's a very horrible experience," lamented the woman, her head tied with a piece of cloth and a bottle of Limacol in her hands.
According to her, the bandits treated her like "a punching bag".
Residents in the area are again appealing to the relevant authorities to install electricity in the Foulis Scheme since the area is very dark at nights. Some of the residents told the Chronicle yesterday that they have approached the Government and the Housing Ministry on the issue of electricity for the area on several occasions, but these have all been in vain.