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The high-profile inmate currently housed at the Wayne Jackson Building in Arouca, and who investigators believe is the mastermind behind the executions of prison officers Trevor Serrette and Nigel Jones, has expressed sympathy to the officers who died and their families, especially Jones’ three-year-old daughter.

In a signed letter that Guardian Media obtained, the inmate said although he sympathises with the deceased officers and their relatives, it “does not give the prison authority to play judge, jury and executioner for something that is being investigated by the police.”

The signed letter by the inmate, dated November 30, alleged abuse by prison officers against inmates in the section, including no airing, late or spoilt meals, no baths and being left in a heated building due to the alleged switching off of cooling fans.

The inmate began his letter stating that on Friday, November 26, 2021, “everything was normal till the evening. In the evening, several men in masks entered the section of building 13 (Wayne Jackson Building) in which I am housed, the eastern side and came in and said that a prison officer had died and that we will die too.”

He added that on Saturday, November, 27, they did not get food until around 1 pm, when they brought all the food at once.

“We were bathed once around 4 pm by the same masked men,” he said.

On Sunday the inmate alleged that at about 7 or 8 am, they were allowed baths by the “normal officers” in the yard and “in the evening, the masked men took over guarding us.”

On Monday (November 29), the inmate again alleged that they were not allowed baths for the entire day and were given food only once, consisting of rice, black-eyed peas and fried fish.

“However, normally, food is brought in big pots separated: pots of rice, peas, etc. and dished out for everyone. On this day, the food was brought in separate boxes with individual’s names placed on the boxes, therefore, men did not trust this as we know we are high-risk inmates and so we did not eat this,” the inmate said.

“On Monday around 4 pm, one cell was taken out to bathe, however, they were soon chased back into the wing by the masked men, while still covered in soap. Approximately ten masked men proceeded to beat the inmates,” he claimed.

He went on to list a few names of inmates who were allegedly beaten by prison officers.

“After that, no one else in the building got to bathe. The last diet (food) they brought was yesterday (Monday, November 29, 2021) at about 4 pm. But they parked up the food outside the section gate and did not bring it into the wing and they said that we refused it, by putting this in the book.

“In the night around 8 pm they took off all the lights, the place was pitch black, normally the lights are never taken off. The lights were put back on around 12 am.

“During this time, the masked men were walking the corridors and trying to injure anyone near the gates. One prisoner whose name I do not know got hit with a baton on his hand. Another, known as “Preacher,” was hit in the chest with a baton. While walking the corridors, the masked men were saying, “All allyuh going and dead, watch and see.”

“They were also cussing out prisoners. They took spoiled boxes of food and flung it down the corridor around 9 pm – the whole corridor is dirty and smelling rotten – this has not yet been cleaned – as of 5.30 pm November 30, 2021.”

He added that the blower that keeps the building cool was taken off since last Friday evening and was never put back.

“The building is very hot. We have not had drinking water nor running water since Sunday evening. We have not been aired since Friday.”

On Tuesday, (November 30), he said they weren’t allowed baths again and were not given food for the entire day.

“They are putting in the book that we refused food, but this is untrue, a lot of men are diabetic or on medication and need food.”

The inmate also gave solutions, saying a press conference should be called “saying that we are aware that they (prison guards) are trying to kill men here, there are no cameras or witnesses to say different if they do so and say that we tried to disarm them etc.”

“They are provoking a situation and playing victims. We sympathise with the offices who died, especially the little girl but that does not give the prison authority to play judge, jury and executioner for something that is being investigated by the police,” the inmate said.

“The public does not understand that remanded means innocent until proven guilty, we still have rights as do normal civilians while we await our matter being heard. Our rights and needs to the following are being neglected: food; air; water; baths.”

He added, “What the prison association said about us demanding to be transferred is not true. The prison has the right to move us wherever, what we want is our rights. We do not deserve to suffer while waiting for our matters.”

The inmate also asked for “someone neutral” to come in and see the Wayne Jackson Building and what is going on and to talk to and listen to the inmates.

Commissioner responds

In an immediate response to the letter, Commissioner of Prisons Dennis Pulchan said: “This is false….they are at war…and propaganda is the tools of terrorists. No such thing was reported or heard of … I have an ASP..a prisons supervisor and several officers who are working that building.”

Apart from the recent murders of the prison officers, the home of a female prison officer in Tunapuna was also shot up by gunmen on Tuesday night. A police officer who was running a parlour on the same property returned fire against the gunmen but was himself injured in the attack.

Pulchan added, “My officers are running scared … they are humans … this man just looking for sympathy from the public for justification for killing the officer in front of a 3-year-old baby … he is shifting the focus. You are dealing with a brilliant strategist…who has several fraud cases against him … so he is trying to change the narratives and win back public support to see him as a victim.”