Fri | Oct 30, 2020

We can’t stop every single murder – Superintendent Beeput

Published:Thursday | April 26, 2018 | 12:00 AMAdrian Frater/News Editor

Western Bureau:

Superintendent Sharon Beeput, the commanding officer for Hanover, says that the police are powerless to stop incidents such as Wednesday's gruesome triple murder in Green Island as aggrieved persons are not utilising the mechanisms that are in place to settle domestic disputes.

"In our community meetings and our other interactions with the public, we encourage them to come to us when they are facing challenging domestic issues so we can help them to resolve them," said Beeput. "Unfortunately, as we can see in this Green Island situation, people are not taking up our advice.

"If they don't want to come to us, they can go to pastors and other respected members of the community. There are avenues open for them to get help, but they are not taking them," added Beeput.

On Wednesday, shortly after 7 a.m., tragedy struck in Green Island when 61-year-old fisherman Paul Coote allegedly used his machete to slaughter his estranged common-law wife, 38-year-old Adanique Cunningham, who was eight months' pregnant; and their daughters, seven-year-old Jayanna Coote and four-year-old Sanique Coote.

Coote was reportedly enraged because his much younger spouse had reportedly become intimately involved with a younger man, who had impregnated her. She had moved out of the house they shared, only returning occasionally to do domestic chores for the children, who had stayed behind with their father.

"We have heard reports that he (Coote) was being teased about the situation with his girlfriend, and that might have caused him to snap," said Beeput, who said that she was yet to question Coote. "It is just sad that he did not seek help because that might have spared three lives."

Residents on Wednesday confirmed that the usually mild-mannered Coote was constantly being teased about his decision to establish a relationship with the much younger Cunningham. Some even intimated that his two children were 'jackets' (not his).

While the triple murder has pushed the homicide count in the parish to 19 since the start of the year, Beeput believes that the parish is well on course to seeing a significant reduction over the record 61 murders recorded in 2017.