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"It was horrendous” - Islanders recall night of stabbing 32 years ago

Thursday 28 April 2022

"It was horrendous” - Islanders recall night of stabbing 32 years ago

Thursday 28 April 2022

People in the area where two women were stabbed more than 30 years ago have told the Royal Court of “horrendous” screaming and seeing a man running away carrying clothes on the night of the attack.

Barbara Mary Griffin (59) and her aunt, Emma Maria Elvina Anton (85), were attacked in their home on Le Geyt Road, St. Saviour, on 2 August 1990. Ms Griffin died from her wounds.

Rickie Michael Tregaskis (52) is pleading not guilty to the murder of Ms Griffin and the attempted murder of Ms Anton.

His trial opened on Monday, with Mr Tregaskis appearing before Commissioner Sir John Saunders, and a jury of 14 people. 

In the morning, two individuals described what they had seen and heard on the night in question.

One individual told Court that they heard screams, and someone yelling: "Help, help." They described seeing a male figure "running holding a bundle of clothing with just white socks.” 

The individual said they “had doubts”, but thought the runner was Mr Tregaskis. They told the Court that “the lighting was good enough to see the person”, but that they couldn’t be sure.

A second person giving evidence in the dock gave a similar account: "I saw this guy and he was running. He had some boxer shorts on. He was carrying clothes. He ran down the alley, it was quick.”

"He was about five foot ten, maybe a little bit taller. He was quite slim, he was suntanned, he had light coloured hair - it was short,” he added. 

He recalled "I heard a scream, it was horrendous. It sounded bad." He looked at Commissioner Sir John Saunders and told him: "It's a night I would never forget."

Advocate Rebecca Morley-Kirk, defending, addressed the first witness and said that when they initially spoke to the police - "the time your memory would have been freshest” - they weren't sure they had seen Mr Tregaskis.

She went on to question: "30 years later, you're still not sure. Are you?" The witness agreed: "Not 100%, no."

In the afternoon, the Jury heard from another observer who was dropping off a woman living in the area after they had visited the pub. 

After kissing the woman at around 02:15, the witness said he “saw a male literally within seconds of me heading out of the estate."

The witness said he was “drawn to” the man due to the time and what he was wearing.

"There was nothing on his top, there wasn't any footwear. He was carrying something in his right hand, I assumed that would be his t-shirt. It was rolled up an held like a newspaper. There was something inside the t-shirt, like he was hiding something." 

He went on to state that the man he had seen was around six foot and in his 20s, with a “slim build” and “floppy hair”, which was brown “with blonde streaks”, in a style common in the 80s.

"I saw him enough to give a detailed description then and now,” he said, later adding: “I saw him and there was no distinctive features, no tattoos, no moustache, no beard, clean shaven.”

On how the witness knew the time, Advocate Morley-Kirk suggested during cross-examination that the woman he was dropping home did not have a watch. He responded: "I think she did, because she told me the time when I left the flat."

The trial continues today.

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