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From The Archives: Two on Death Row for Sisnett murder

From The Archives

From The Archives: Two on Death Row for Sisnett murder

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IT IS exactly four years less one day that two men allegedly associated in criminal activity with Winston Hall were sentenced to be hanged for murder.

Peter Bradshaw and David Oliver have been held on death row at Glendairy Prison ever since then, uncertain about their own fate while their own friend and Barbados’ most wanted prisoner, Winston Leroy Hall was free and on the run.

Bradshaw and Oliver have been on death row for the past 1 460 days and nights, awaiting execution but hoping for better following conviction for the murder of plantation manager, Cyril Sisnett.

It was on November 8, 1985, that these men, both of whom are from Storey Gap, Codrington Hill, St. Michael, received the murder verdict from a 12-member jury.

Sisnett’s body was found at his plantation house, Francia Plantation, in St. George on December 15, 1984, by his gardener. Before he retired, Sisnett was the managing director of Martin Doorly and Company Limited. He was also the director of the Barbados Bottling Company Limited BBCL, Vaucluse Factory Limited, Vaucluse Estate Limited and Canefield Limited.

Elliott Belgrave, QC, then prosecutor in the Sisnett murder case gave the assurance that Hall would be charged at another trial when captured. He said it was alleged that Hall was with Peter Bradshaw and Oliver when 74-year old Sisnett lost his life.

Hall, along with Errol Bradshaw, escaped from a prison van on March 18, 1985, while on the compound of the Oistins Police Station, but Errol Bradshaw gave himself up three days later on March 21. These two, along with Bradshaw’s brother Peter and David Oliver, had re-appeared in the Oistins Magistrates’ court to answer charges of murdering Sisnett.

Peter Bradshaw, Hall and Oliver appeared in this court on January 28, to answer 22 charges of murder, assault and robbery. As hundreds of onlookers braved the morning sun, these men were whisked to the courts under a tight escort of uniformed and plainclothes policemen.

The Sisnett murder case started on October 24 with the wife of the deceased, Denise, and his gardener, Richard Trotman, giving evidence.

Dr. Fred Reader, who was the doctor on the scene who pronounced Sisnett dead at 7: 15 a.m. on December 15, 1984, said he found Sisnett lying in a large pool of blood, face upwards, with a large wound below the right shoulder.

Government pathologist Dr. Sree Ramulu said he discovered two bullet wounds on Sisnett’s body, one six centimetres away from the side of the neck.

After the murder verdict was handed down, police officials stepped up their search for Hall. They believed that with the conviction of Bradshaw and Oliver, both sentenced to be hanged, attempts might have been made by Hall to leave the island.

Rumours had also surfaced that Hall was dead but police dismissed these.