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Wednesday 20 November 2019
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11 YEARS OF HELL

PASTOR Dennis Lalla, father of murder victim Sabrina Lalla-Mitchell, yesterday recalled her life of abuse at the hands of a man she knew which he described as “eleven years of hell”.

Lalla, 65, wept as he spoke of the many occasions he tried to save Sabrina, 35, during the years she was in the abusive relationship. He even convinced her once to leave the country with her sons Seth, 11, and Shayden, ten, but she returned and went back to the 36-year-old man.

“We tried over and over and told her to walk out of the relationship. We even got her into leaving the country with her two boys for America but she returned and walked straight back into the relationship,” Lalla told Newsday at the Forensic Science Centre, St James yesterday.

Lalla was there for the autopsy of his daughter Sabrina who was stabbed to death by the man at her workplace, Bavarian Motors, Todd Street, San Fernando on Tuesday in front of her two sons.

Sabrina was stabbed 20 times in her heart, lung, liver and air-pipe, according to the results of the autopsy performed by senior pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov. The report also said Sabrina lost 50 percent of her blood and went into shock.

Recalling how Sabrina finally left the man six months ago, Lalla said the family thought the man had changed his ways as he had amicable ties with them since their relationship ended.

The man even attended a birthday party for Lalla’s wife recently.

Lalla said he believes the man was only pretending as he bided his time for his chance to attack Sabrina.

“A moment of insanity causes a lifetime of pain. This was no crime of passion but pre-meditated. This man pretended for all this time and did what he did,” Lalla said. Despite his feelings, Lalla, a pastor, said he tried to visit Sabrina’s killer at the San Fernando Hospital yesterday but the police advised him not to go and see him.

“I wanted to talk to him and tell him that I forgive him and that I am praying that he will find God,” Lalla said when asked why he wanted to see the man who had killed his daughter.

After his fatal attack on Sabrina, the man slit his wrists, got into his car and drove off but he crashed moments later in Gulf View, La Romaine. He was taken to the hospital and treated, although he objected to receiving medical attention.

Yesterday, the man was in stable condition and was under police guard.

The man’s relatives went to see him during visiting hours. He muttered something to them and they began to cry. The wounds on his wrists were bandaged and he had been placed on IV fluids.

One of the relatives, who did not want to be named, said the man had lost a lot of blood and was weak.

“He just gave up. You see him there, he gave up and there is nothing. I or anyone else could have done about it (the attack). I am still in shock,” the relative said.

The relative said the man had a case pending in which Sabrina was the complainant.

“That case was coming up and if she (Sabrina) had testified it would have mashed him up. So after that he just gave up, he told me,” the relative said.

Hospital sources told Newsday the man was taken to the operating room at about 9 am yesterday. Although he had refused to take some of his medication he was in a stable condition.

When he went to Bavarian Motors on Tuesday, the man pleaded with Sabrina to reconcile with him but she refused and it was then he attacked her.

Sabrina’s son Seth bravely tried to pull the man off as he stabbed her.

In an interview with Newsday on Tuesday, Seth said he knew something was wrong because the man looked angry as he spoke to Sabrina.

I was just watching and then I saw him pull out a knife from his pocket,” Seth said. “I wanted to save mummy so bad but he began to stab her. And I tried pulling him off her but he just continued stabbing. I tried to tell him if mummy’s dead who would look after us and he stopped and watched me but mummy was already on the floor and covered in a pool of blood and my school-clothes were covered in blood.”

Lalla, his grandfather, yesterday said Seth did not sleep on Tuesday night.

The boy kept asking who would see about him and make him feel better, Lalla told Newsday.

“Seth looked at me and asked, ‘Who will watch over me now? Who will make me feel better? Because my mummy always hugged me and kissed me to make me feel better.’ I was so heart broken that I told him not to worry that I will watch over him and Shayden,” Lalla said.

Lalla said he planned to seek counselling for his grandsons.

“This is such a horrific tragedy that my grandsons will never forget, in their whole entire life, as long as they live, they will always remember that day in detail. I will have to get them professional help,” he said.

Lalla questioned how the security guards, who were on duty at Bavarian Motors, as well six persons who were on the premises did not do anything to stop the attack on Sabrina.

“The security guards especially are their to protect. How can my grandson have the reaction to attempt to save his mother and those persons could not budge?” he asked.

Sabrina’s sister Carissa Lalla told Newsday the family had received offers of help from officials at Grant Memorial Presbyterian School, where Seth and Shayden are students. Bavarian Motors has also offered to provide counsellors for the boys. The car dealership’s San Fernando branch remained closed yesterday.

An official at the Ministry of the People and Social Development told Newsday yesterday social workers from National Family Services would be visiting the family as well.

Carissa said the family has also come together to help the boys.

“We are there for them. Through it all we try to make them laugh, even though whenever someone speaks or relates what happened to Sabrina they begin to get emotional. But we are here for them,” she said.

Cpl Roger Reid of the San Fernando Police Station is investigating the case.

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