Teacher unconscious after brutal cutlass beating
(Originally published in Guyana’s Kaieteur News on 05 January 2011)
– violent, mentally ill reputed husband on the run
An eyewitness said that the victim, Shaunell Warrick, of Stevedore Housing Scheme, was struck repeatedly on the head with a cutlass by the suspect during an altercation at his mother’s Crane, West Coast Demerara home. Warrick has not regained consciousness and relatives said that they have been told that she has suffered some amount of brain damage.
Warrick, who has two children and teaches at East Street Nursery, has been admitted to the Georgetown Hospital’s High Dependency Unit. The woman is also in her final year at the Cyril Potter College of Education.
Meanwhile, the suspect, identified as 39-year-old Rudolph London, has reportedly been contacting Warrick’s family by telephone and threatening them with violence.
Warrick and London have an 11-year-old son, and the woman’s relatives and close friends said that she has refused to end the relationship, despite suffering years of physical abuse at his hands. London is said to be a former City Council employee.
Contacted last night, the suspect’s mother, Joycelyn London, issued a plea for her son to turn himself in to the police. She told Kaieteur News that her son has been suffering from mental illness for years and had even stabbed her in the hand during a family dispute some time ago. Ms. London said that he has received psychiatric treatment in the past, but his condition has worsened due to drug abuse and his refusal to take medication. “I want to tell him to give himself up. I don’t want him to go out and hurt someone else.”
“He called today and said that he want me to help him with passage because he want to go away.” Reports indicate that London, who lives in the bottom flat of his mother’s home, unleashed the brutal attack on his reputed wife after she received a call from an unidentified male at around 03:00 hrs on New Year’s Day.
The suspect’s sister, Rhonda London, told Kaieteur News that she witnessed the attack and even risked her own life trying to save Warrick.
AWAKENED BY SCREAMS
The woman said that she was sleeping in the top flat but was awakened by Warrick screaming “Rhonda help me!”
Warrick then ran to the top flat and the woman said that she opened her bedroom door to let her in. But she said that her brother kicked open the door. “He say ‘keep out of my business…he give me one straight right to my face. He had a cutlass and he start hit she. I couldn’t even count (the blows).
“He asking ‘who call you on the cell phone…who is he…you know how long I know she got somebody with me’…and he keep hitting she.” The sister said that Warrick began to bleed through the nostrils and gasp for breath, and it was only then that the brutal assault ceased and her brother retreated from the bedroom. After her brother had left, Rhonda London said that she contacted another sister, who, along with the sister’s husband, took the unconscious Warrick to the West Demerara Regional Hospital.
“They ask what happen and I start lying…I tell them that I hear screams in front of the gate and I saw her lying in front by the gate, but at the Georgetown Hospital (to which Warrick was transferred) I start telling the doctors the truth.”
The victim’s mother, Mrs. Angela Warrick, told Kaieteur News that she and Shaunell were to have attended church on Old Year’s Night. But Shaunell changed her mind after the taxi they had called for took some time to arrive. While the mother headed to church, the nursery school teacher headed to Crane, where her reputed husband lived.
The woman said that when she returned home she did not look into Shaunell’s bedroom to see if she was there. But at around 03:00 hrs on New Year’s Day, she received a call from someone who informed her that Shaunell and Rudolph had “some story” and her daughter had been injured.
Close friends of the victim said that London had attacked Shaunell at least twice while she was at school. On one occasion, he arrived at another nursery school with a knife and with the intention of stabbing his reputed wife. The friends said that the victim reported the matter at the East La Penitence Police Station but then “dropped the matter.” On the other occasion, she suffered a cut to the head after London allegedly struck her with a broken bottle. That matter was not reported to the police.
Relating her own experiences with her violent son, the suspect’s mother, Joycelyn London, said that the suspect was beating and threatening to stab another sibling when she intervened and was accidentally injured.
“The knife go through my hand. I had to run and go to the hospital. They (police) took him into custody and he ask me to give him a chance, and I say ‘you have to take your treatment (medication). He go in (the psychiatric ward) for a couple of days and start use the treatment and it start to work.”
Both relatives and friends of the victim said that they had repeatedly pleaded with her to end the relationship. “She would leave him, but I don’t know what would make her go back,” her mother said. But a close friend and colleague said that Shaunell had “a heart of gold and believed in forgiveness.”
“But she said that she thinking of her son, and said that in this life you have to forgive and pray for betterment.”