Pauline Lumfai shows off a Mother’s Day card made for her by her son, Sean Luke. (Image: SHASTRI BOODAN)

SHASTRI BOODAN

Pauline Lumfai sat in her tattered clothing and cried when Guardian Media visited her home at Henry Street East, Orange Valley, following the guilty verdict handed down to two men accused of the murder of her son.

Pauline said the only way she could get justice is if she gets her son, Sean Luke, back, something that will never happen.

28-year-old Akeil Mitchell, and 31-year-old Richard Chaitoo were found guilty of murdering five-year-old Sean Luke, in 2006. His body was recovered from a nearby cane field. The child’s death was another tragedy in a small coastal community that has lost villagers through murder, and more recently, through piracy in the Gulf of Paria.

Pauline Lumfai was a shell of her former self. She sat on a plastic chair and wept as she showed this reporter some of the memorabilia she had kept of the child, including his kindergarten certificate, a Mother’s Day card and paintings that she kept in the child’s worn out blue school bag. His bedroom has since been converted into a room for her grandson.

Pauline Lumfai sheds tears at her home in Orange Valley, Couva, following the guilty verdict handed down to two men accused of the murder of her son, Sean Luke, on Friday 23 July 2021. (Image: SHASTRI BOODAN)

She said she was not happy that the killers got life sentence.

She said, “After everything, they are human beings,” she said.  “That don’t make me happy at all.  Look what they did to they self.  Look at what they did to their own self. They cause that on them.”

“I can tell the two of them may God Almighty have mercy on their soul because it ent finish for them yet. It may seem like it finish on the earth here, but it still have the one up there [referring to God] to face because He see everything they do to my son. All the angels see it. I hope they have remorse in their souls. I hope they think back and feel sorry and have this remorse what they did to my child,” she told Guardian Media.

“I have to live with that for the rest of my life because there is no true justice for me. The justice what I want is that I want back my son. They could give me back my child? They can’t, so where my justice is? That is it. I have no justice,” she said.

Pauline observed that 15 years was a long time to deliver a decision, saying: “I glad it come to an end and nobody ent drag it on by appealing. I glad it come to an end. I could not be bothered.  I have to live until I die without my child.”

“When the child died, many promises were made, including a promise to build a safe play park for children,” she recalled.

She said a former San Fernando Mayor assisted the community in getting a space, but nothing was done, and the area was overtaken by squatters.

Pauline Lumfai shows off a page from a colouring book that Sean did in 2006. (Image: SHASTRI BOODAN)

Pauline said all her relatives have their own way to deal with the death of Sean Luke but do not bring up the subject since it stirs up many bad emotions.

She revealed that listening to the case was hard on her.

“I could not listen to the doctor and what the doctor found on him. I could not listen to the details of the murderers and them and what they did with my child; the state witness what he said. I could not handle it and left and went outside,” she admitted, saying she did not want hear additional details that would haunt her for the rest of her life. 

Pauline Lumfai said the murder has wrecked her emotionally.

“I became more quiet, more reserved. We have a dairy farm; I does be in the farm. I try to keep myself busy. When I go to bed at night, I does put my mouth into the pillow and bawl and that is how I does do it. Then I does have to pray, ‘Father take that feeling out of me’… that thoughts out of my head.  That is what those murderers do to me for the rest of my life,” she shared.

Pauline said she can’t let go.

“Tell me how to do that. I have been living on this earth now not by my will, by Most High God will.  He is the one giving me the will to go on. I have no power and strength. It is the will of God,” she said.

Damien Lumfai, 42, the brother of Sean Luke, said the hardest thing to do after the funeral was to pack away the clothes and personal effects of the child. Damien said whenever he was not working offshore, he took Sean for van rides.

Damien said it was hard for his mother to be exposed to the gruesome details of the murder.

“No parent should have to go through that,” he said.