Buxton butcher slaughters wife
-young children witness gruesome act
By Nigel Williams
Stabroek News
December 29, 2003

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A butcher from Buxton went berserk yesterday morning killing his 38-year-old wife before drinking kerosene oil in a failed attempt to end his life.

Robin Alison Chester-Barth of Buxton Middlewalk was initially beaten with a rolling pin in full view of four children before her attacker, Vaughan Barth cut off her hands, slit her throat and then ripped open her stomach.

A relative of the attacker was overheard telling someone, "I coulda predict something like this happening. Dat man bin very frustrated over he marriage life of late."

A relative of the couple told this newspaper that the duo went out for almost the entire night on Saturday: "They come very late, till early this morning they reach in."

According to the relative, once the couple arrived home they began quarrelling and this continued throughout the morning.

The relative told Stabroek News that at around 9:30 am Robin was in the kitchen preparing something to eat when Barth attacked her with the rolling pin.

"He start to beat she all over she body and she begin to scream."

Even while this was happening, neighbours did not respond and even Barth's relatives who live nearby ignored the commotion.

"I bin deh washing some clothes when I hear the loud quarreling and then I hear like if somebody holler, but me ain't get involve because them people dah always gat dem problems," one resident recalled.

One of the couple's children said that at the time of the assault, he, along with three other siblings, were in the house and their father chased them into their bedroom and continued to beat Robin. He then dragged the woman into their bedroom, locked the door and continued to beat her.

All during this time, according to reports, she fought back.

It was around 10 am when the butcher hit the woman a telling blow to her forehead and she fainted and collapsed. At this point he drew a cutlass and immediately severed the woman's two hands.

When Barth realised that the children had seen what he had done he chased them out of the house with a cutlass. Among the children who had to flee were two below four years and the other two, five and six. It was after the children had fled the house, that Barth reportedly drank the kerosene oil.

Shortly after, residents as well as the man's relatives rushed to the scene only to find the woman's body sprawled in her bedroom and Barth pacing about the house. His relatives immediately took him to the hospital and up to press time yesterday he was said to have been in a critical condition. A policeman is at his bedside.

When Stabroek News arrived in Buxton yesterday morning, the body was still in the house while a contingent of police ranks surrounded the house. Blood was seen seeping through the crevices in the floor as family members wailed and a small crowd gathered.

Stabroek News was told that Barth had been accusing the woman of carrying on an extramarital affair with another man in the village whom he knew well.

Reports are that the couple had clashed several times over the man and at one time Barth had threatened to end his life. The other man, who lives nearby, fled the village soon after the incident.

Yesterday's murder dealt another blow to the Chester family which is still recovering from an incident last year when gunmen torched their Brushe Dam, Friendship home. Speaking to this newspaper, a tearful Edris Chester, mother of the dead woman, said she was on her way home from church when someone approached her and expressed sympathy.

"What for?" Edris recalled asking only to be told that her daughter had been murdered. "I don't know what happen between them, but he kill she. I can't go and see I can't stand it," Edris sobbed.

Both Robin and Bart have other children outside of their union. Robin was described as a very quiet individual.

Over recent months there have been numerous cases of domestic violence many ending with women being murdered.