Police awaiting advice since August on chopping of Corentyne man
By Daniel Da Costa
November 17, 2003
The police have reportedly been awaiting advice from the Chambers of the Director of Public Prosecutions on a course of action following the brutal chopping of a Manchester, Corentyne man by a gang of men on August 1, last.
Mark Robertson, 41-year-old father of three was chopped at least twelve times about his body around 8:15 am by thirteen men armed with cutlasses and axe handles. Among them, he claims, was a policeman. Robertson was rescued from possible death by a group of villagers who forced his attackers to beat a hasty retreat.
Recently, Robertson showed this newspaper a number of chops on his hands and feet. The wounds which are not fully healed could restrict use of his limbs. His left instep is still swollen with a gaping wound and appears infected. "I have no feelings in my right hand and my left foot," he explained. According to Robertson, "I was in a tamarind tree in the village some 200 metres from the public road on Freedom Day at around 8:00 am when I saw a gang of men approaching me. They were all armed and I overheard them saying that they had been sent by a sergeant stationed at Whim Police Station to kill me."
He recalled that some of the men climbed the tree and began chopping him on his feet and hands. "I was forced to jump from the tree in an attempt to escape them but as I fell on the ground bleeding the men continued chopping me about the body. Then one of them put a cutlass at my throat and said he was going to slit my throat. It was then that some villagers came up and forced the men to retreat." According to Robertson the group of men came from the neighbouring village of Whim.
Shortly after the gang retreated and as villagers attempted to rush him to the Port Mourant hospital on a donkey cart, a party of policemen attached to the Special Anti-Crime Unit, commonly referred to as "Black Clothes Squad", arrived and took him to the institution. Because of the seriousness of his condition he was transferred to the New Amsterdam hospital where he was admitted and spent some two weeks. Shortly after being discharged he was re-admitted for anther two weeks after his wounds became infected.
While in hospital, Robertson said he was visited on three occasions by the policeman who was with the gang. "He kept asking me if I had recognised anyone of my attackers but I told him no, since if I did I knew my life would have been endangered. He then promised to return to take a statement from me but never did."
According to a visibly infuriated Robertson, after he was discharged from the hospital he visited the Whim Police Station to find out what action had been taken by the police in relation to the incident. "I met the very sergeant whose name the gang had called and he told me to return since the matter was being investigated. I returned a few days later and was told the same thing by the sergeant. To date I have not heard anything. I want to be compensated for the serious injuries inflicted on me by these men since I might not be able to use my hand or leg again," he demanded.
A police source told this newspaper that Robertson was accused of stealing a quantity of articles belonging to the men and was hiding from them when he was attacked. According to the source the man has been charged for the offence but Robertson denied this. "If in fact I did commit an offence why wasn't I arrested by the police, taken to the station, charged and brought before the Courts?" he asked. "Why were these men allowed to inflict such serious injuries to me in the presence of a policeman and to date no action has been taken against them?" According to the police source, the advice being awaited relates to what action should be taken against the gang of men.