Was the Centrin worker poisoned?… Wife agrees to allow funeral to proceed Wednesday

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The legally married wife of “suicide” victim David Francis on Monday agreed to withdraw the injunction she obtained against Francis’ common-law wife, Chandrawatie Nandlal, last Friday night.

When the parties met on Monday before Justice Ronnie Boodoosingh in the San Fernando High Court, Donna Francis received a copy of the second post-mortem report done on the body by pathologist Professor Hubert Daisley.

Donna Francis, through her attorney Gerald Ramdeen, received an assurance from the pathologist that although he ruled death was as a result of asphyxia consistent with hanging, he sent parts of Francis’ stomach contents to determine if he was poisoned.

The withdrawal of the injunction means that plans are underway to cremate Francis on Wednesday at the Waterloo Cremation Site.

Last Friday, Justice Boodoosingh granted an order preventing Nandlal from disposing of Francis’ body. As a result, the funeral service carded for Saturday, was postponed.

According to the “Summary of opinion as to Cause of Death”, Dr Daisley wrote, “I am of the opinion that the deceased (Francis) died from asphyxia due to hanging. It is consistent with suicide. The deceased could have obtained the injuries listed above, prior to death by falling on a rough surface during his drunken state.”

Having reason to believe that death may have been caused, or accelerated by poison, Dr Daisley submitted samples of Francis’ stomach to the Government chemist for analyst.

In his report, Dr Daisley also found a laceration to the scalp; contusions to the anterior abdominal wall; contusions to intercostal space left ribs; and abrasion to the chin.

Intercostal muscles are several groups of muscles that run between the ribs, and help form and move the chest wall. The intercostal muscles are mainly involved in the mechanical aspect of breathing. These muscles help expand and shrink the size of the chest cavity to facilitate breathing.

Francis, 48, a retrenched worker of Centrin, was found hanging outside his house on April 21.

Donna, in her affidavit, stated, “I was the lawful wife of David Francis. The deceased and I were lawfully married on the April 2, 1991.  We lived together for approximately six years. There was one child of the family, Shivanie Francis. She was born on the January 30,1992. At the time of his death, the deceased and I were still lawfully married.” At the time of his death, the deceased was sharing a common law relationship with the Defendant (Nandlal). The deceased resided with the Defendant at No. 26 Palm Avenue, Carli Bay, Couva.

“On the 21st April 2016, the deceased was found hanging from a rafter of the dwelling house where the Defendant and the deceased resided. I was shocked when I heard the news of the death of the deceased and the manner in which his body was found.

“I could not believe that the deceased had taken his life. He was not depressed and for the many years that I have known him he never exhibited any tendencies to take his life. I immediately contacted his siblings when I found about his death and asked that his death be properly investigated because I did not believe that the deceased would have taken his life.

“I have been informed by the brother of the deceased, Sheldon Francis, and verily believe that the Defendant has made arrangements for the funeral of the deceased to take place tomorrow the 30th April 2016.

“The body of my husband is presently at Guides funeral Home Couva. I am further informed by Mr. Sheldon Francis that he shared my view that the circumstances of the death of the deceased were very suspicious.

“As a result he informed me and I verily believe that he commissioned a second autopsy on the body of the deceased which was performed today by professor Hubert Daisley. Neither the official report of the first post mortem or the second post mortem performed have been completed.

“I would like a proper investigation to be done into the death of the deceased by the proper authorities. I would not want for the body of my deceased husband to be cremated while the investigation in his death is ongoing and evidence material to the investigation that could assist the authorities in determining the cause of the death of the deceased be destroyed and the authorities not have the opportunity to resolve all of the issues in this matter.

“It would be very unfortunate if someone was responsible for the death of my husband and the evidence to prove same was destroyed.

DAVID FRANCIS

David Francis

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