John Henry Smith

Slain: John Henry Smith

The 41-year-old woman who was detained last Friday following the killing of businessman John Henry Smith, 74, briefly escaped custody from the St Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital yesterday but was located and taken back.

The woman had been ordered to the hospital by police on advice of the TTPS legal department at the weekend for psychiatric evaluation.

However, about 4.30 a.m. yesterday, a nurse on the compound who was making routine checks realised that the suspect was not in her ward.

A further check of the hospital was made and the woman could not be located.

The police were immediately notified and officers of the Port of Spain Task Force responded. The officers received intelligence which led them to the Botanical Gardens about one mile away where they found the woman standing and apparently waiting on someone.

The suspect was immediately taken back to St Ann’s Hospital, where she is currently under police guard. At about 4.30 p.m. last Friday, officers of the Maraval Police Station responded to a distress call that there was a domestic dispute at a residence in Haleland Park, Saddle Road, Maraval. Upon their arrival, they observed a woman lying next to a motionless man. The woman was crying and holding Smith’s hand. The officers approached the woman who indicated that she lived at the house. She claimed repeatedly that she killed Smith by “stamping his head and mashing his head into the ground”.

She was immediately detained.

The Express was told that two children, aged nine and 13, had witnessed the incident.

The Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago, in a media release yesterday, said it has intervened to provide support to the children

Director Nichola Harvey-Mitchell said, “The authority is collaborating with the Victim and Witness Support Unit of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and is working with the family to provide a safe and stable environment for the children.”

PC Martin of the HBI Region One is continuing investigations.

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