Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Woman dies from blow to head and strangulation

By Linda Straker

Police in Grenada have disclosed that an autopsy conducted on Nixiann Downes-Clarke – the young woman that was found inside a suitcase in a shallow grave in Mt. Mortiz last Friday – revealed that she died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head and asphyxiation by strangulation.

A statement from the Royal Grenada Police Force said that an autopsy was conducted on Sunday – approximately 48 hours after police from the Criminal Investigation Department were believed to have acted on a confession statement from her husband, Alexander Clarke, that he had killed and buried her in the location. Both Clarke and an unnamed teenaged female were detained and assisting police with the investi-gation of the disappearance of Nixiann after she failed to meet her mother, Linda Downes, last week Tuesday.

Clarke made his first appearance in court on Monday and his lawyer, Anselm Clouden, is claiming that police beat his client in the head and forced a confession out of him.
The shallow grave where the body
of Nixiann Downes-Clarke was found.
“There are certain protective mechanisms to ensure that an accused person has a fair trial and we must follow it to the letter,” he said, while angry onlookers questioned his decision to take up the matter.

Claiming he personally has no knowledge about the heinous crime, which has now left a two-year-old without a mother and a mother without a daughter, Clouden said that under the law his client must be presumed innocent until proven otherwise by a court of law. When asked by the media if his focus is on the claim that Clarke his alleging he was beaten and not on the fact that a body was found, he replied: “I have no knowledge of this... I know nothing about any gruesome murder.”

Clarke was remanded to prison and will return to court on July 10 where the result of his medical examination is expected to be disclosed before the court. Despite Clouden’s application that he sees a doctor forthwith, under the law once any person is sent to prison to serve a sentence or await a trial, a medical doctor must thoroughly examine that person and produce a report for the records.

As Clouden spoke about the innocence of his client, the mother of Nixiann was crying and screaming, saying her first child and first daughter did not deserve to die in such an inhumane way. She claimed that the husband, who according to police is a British national, was very abusive to her daughter and deprived her from having a relationship with her family.

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