Thomas was hypertensive 'emotional wreck'
Stabroek News
February 3, 2004

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Murder accused Mark Thomas was an emotional wreck suffering from hypertension, say hospital sources.

He died on Sunday night two weeks after being charged with the January 5 murder of cattle farmer Shafeek Bacchus. One hospital source told Stabroek News that his condition was discovered when Thomas was admitted to the Georgetown Public Hospital on January 16 after collapsing upon learning of the charge.

Stabroek News had been unable to determine exactly what warranted him remaining in hospital but his sudden demise has raised questions. Hypertension is high blood pressure.

The man, who operated the Auby's Wine Bar at George and Norton streets, was charged along with Ashton King and Shawn Hinds with murdering Bacchus whose brother George has since stated that a death squad existed responsible for the killing of several criminals.

One patient in the same ward recalled that on Sunday, Thomas had a little to eat late in the afternoon and had appeared fine. Shortly after, he suffered convulsions and begged for a drink of water. He crashed to the ground and started frothing at the mouth. Minutes later he was dead.

Yesterday, his employer Aubert Van Sertima, who lives in Saudi Arabia, said the death looked suspicious and should be investigated thoroughly. He said he would allow the police to perform the post mortem but if not satisfied he would have an independent pathologist conduct a second autopsy.

He wondered why as soon as the man died the police guarding him picked up their handcuffs and left the body unattended. He pointed out that Thomas was under their control and his sudden death, taking into consideration the allegations levelled against him, should have been a cause of great concern.

He said that when he visited the hospital Thomas' body, which had a screen around it, was unattended and everyone went to have a look. He said the least the police could have done was to collect any of Thomas' possessions so as to investigate what could have caused his death. He feels that the man might have died from something he had drunk or eaten. Van Sertima said he occasionally sent food for Thomas but on Sunday he did not send any and could not say who took food for him.

Meanwhile, the patient recalled Thomas was an emotional wreck who craved an audience.

He said Thomas never turned anyone away and often shared details of his life. There were those who labelled him a "sneak" and felt his sudden attack at the station that landed him in hospital was a hoax to avoid attending court. Others felt sorry for Thomas even though they questioned his admission into the hospital. He pointed out that Thomas' appearance was shocking; a grown, oversized man shackled to a bed, legs and left hand bound, half-dressed, face pale with stress, cracked lips, sunken eyes, unkempt hair and foul body odour.

He said Thomas regularly broke down and complained of occasional paralysis crying out he could not feel his legs.

The patient said Thomas had regular visits which became the high point of his day, as he was jovial and would talk for over an hour.

Van Sertima said Thomas died a sad and lonely man but nothing could be done now. He said he ended up where he was because of the friends he had chosen.