A man who burnt a wife and children in Bartica’s house, taken into custody
Kaieteur News – Yesterday Kenford Downer, the man who allegedly burned his wife and children alive last December, made his first court appearance and was remanded in prison.
The defendant, who was at Bartica Magistrates ‘Court, appeared almost before Magistrate Crystal Lambert at Vreed-en-Hoop Magistrates’ Court.
He was not required to plead to the indictable offense, which alleged that on December 12, 2020 at the Four Miles Squatting Area, Potaro Road, Bartica, he murdered Carolina Kennedy, 48, a housewife, and their two daughters – five years old Mariana and Gabriella Kennedy, age three – during a course or promoting arson.
The defendant is expected to make his next court appearance on January 27, 2021.
According to information, Downer was hospitalized at Bartica Regional Hospital and undergoing treatment for injuries he received during the fire.
After spending nearly four weeks in hospital, he was released Monday and taken into custody.
Last week, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shalimar Ali-Hack, SC, advised Guyana Police (GPF) to lay charges against Downer.
According to a police report, around 21:30 o’clock. on Dec. 12, 2020, an anonymous caller telephoned Bartica Police Station and reported a fire. The fire service was alerted and dispatched to the area.
However, a fire truck was unable to reach the scene and a bucket brigade formed. When police and fire service ranks, the wooden structure was completely engulfed in flames.
After the fire was extinguished, ranks found the lost remains of Kennedy and her two daughters in the southeast corner of the house. The victims’ bodies were subsequently removed, and transported to the Bartica Hospital Mortuary.
A search for Downer was launched and found in some bushes near the house. While he was being put in the back of a police vehicle, the suspect admitted to the horrific crime.
Based on information received, Kennedy and Downer had been living together for the past six months, during which time the woman had made several complaints to her mother about the suspect in her threatened when he was drunk.
A week before the incident, Downer allegedly threatened to burn the house down to kill Kennedy and her daughters. The woman had been encouraged to report the matter to the police and had planned to visit the station on Monday, December 14, 2020. She never did.
Downer was previously convicted in 2018 for assaulting Kennedy.