Trinidad & Tobago: Small arms used in fatal attacks on women in 2008

02 January 2009

Two days into the new year, the Express takes the time to reflect on a 2008 that was plagued by violence and bloodshed. With a record high murder figure, surpassing that of last year's 395, what was particularly astonishing was how many women fell prey to violent attacks.

Following are some of the murders of women involving small arms.

Dianne Boxhill: After years of abuse, mother of six, Dianne Boxhill, 42, decided that she had had enough. She brought an end to the relationship, but her enraged ex-lover brought an end to her life. Boxhill was a security officer and was stationed at the University of the West Indies (UWI) School of Continuing Studies in St Augustine. This was where the man who took her life was said to have threatened to kill her on a previous occasion. He was armed with cutlass at that time. After that incident, Boxhill ended the relationship. It was the last straw.

On November 11, one week after the alleged attack, he replaced that cutlass with a service revolver from his security job. Boxhill was seated in the living room plaiting a family member's hair when her killer drove up. He told her that he had just come to collect his things and would leave. When he walked into the house he strapped on his bullet proof vest, took out his gun and opened fire. Then as calmly as he entered the house, he walked out and drove off.

Meela Sagram: After a night of partying with her daughter, Sasha, at the "April Fest" concert at the Centre of Excellence in Tunapuna, Meela Sagram and her daughter went to Grand Bazaar, Valsayn, to continue their ladies night out. There, they were confronted by a group of men who just harassed Sasha. Meela became enraged and ordered that they stay away from her daughter. After a heated exchange the Sagrams left. They went to the Palance Bar in El Dorado. Soon after arriving, there three men came out of a silver coloured Hilux van and started firing. Sagram was shot three times about the body. She eventually died in her daughter's arms.

Paula Lackraj: While Davindra Lackraj was heading home to his wife, she was being tied up, forced into a kneeling position and shot in the head execution style. Police were baffled as to the circumstances that led to the murder of Paula Lackraj, 39, at the couple's San Louis Road, Guaico, Sangre Grande home. She was found by her husband in their living room around 5 o'clock on the morning of September 16. What struck investigators, however, was that there was no signs of forced entry at the house. Lackraj was found clad in a short pants and a tee-shirt, her hands and feet tied and with a single gunshot wound to the back of her head. Police believe Lackraj may have known her killer. No one was ever held in connection with the killing.

The Trinidad Express