Minister of Social Development Dr Amery Browne, who went to the Laventille crime scene with Minister Alicia Hospedales, yesterday said he made the request on behalf of the dead girl’s family to Housing Minister Dr Emily Gaynor Dick-Forde.
Dick-Forde, he said, assured him she would have her staff identify new accommodation for Tecia’s mother Diane Henry and her older sisters. The family currently live at Essex Road, off Cook Street, John John, Laventille. Tecia’s body was found nearby at a house on La Plaisance Terrace.
Browne said when he heard the news of Tecia’s death he told the acting permanent secretary he wanted to visit her family and was accompanied by Hospedales and a team from the ministry.
At first, senior police officers advised the minister that it was not safe to visit the area, but his request was facilitated by Assistant Police Commissioner Gilbert Reyes who arranged to have senior officers accompany the ministry’s team.
Browne said his intention was to provide support to Tecia’s family, who he said, “were in deep mourning and quite traumatised.”
He met with Diane Henry and one of her daughters as well as relatives and neighbours. He and other officials prayed with the family.
“Clearly the community and police are engaging in a positive manner,” he told Newsday.
Senior social workers from his ministry began counselling Diane Henry and her family immediately and Browne said he instructed senior officials to provide private sector counselling if the family asked for this service.
Browne said he intends to visit the family again to meet with Tecia’s twin sisters, Tia and Tamara.
He noted the support men in the community gave to the women which he commended.
Laventille West MP NiLeung Hypolite said he telephoned Tecia’s family to express his condolences. “It is a sad day,” Hypolite told Newsday.
He said people now had to ask what was happening to the society.
“What are our male figures thinking?” he asked.
Hypolite said young men need to “focus on what life provides for them” and advised them to return to the church and education rather than “liming on the block and having their mind idle.”
Newsday was also told Community Development Minister Marlene Mc Donald, the Port-of- Spain South MP for the area, also telephoned the Henry family and expressed her support.
Joining her was Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security and MP for Laventille East/Morvant Donna Cox.
Cox said she knew the members of the Police Service were working extremely hard and will continue to be vigilant on this case.
She said she felt sad after the news broke about the schoolgirl and she sympathised with the nation and community.