A 26-year-old Enterprise resident with a history of violence allegedly confessed on Wednesday evening to the brutal assault and robbery of former beauty queen and model, Candice Worrell.
Worrell, 29, is also the fiancée of W Connection captain and Trinidad and Tobago national football team goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams.
On 20 January 2012, she was found, battered and unconscious, outside her Jenexcon Engineering workplace in Montrose, Chaguanas with her wallet and mobile phone missing. She remained in a coma for a month before slowly regaining touch with the world around her.
Wired868 can confirm that, despite reports in other daily newspapers, Worrell became fully alert on 9 May 2012 and is speaking. And the Chaguanas Police believes it has apprehended the person responsible. The assault and robbery, according a law enforcement source, was a random and opportunistic act by a repeat offender who is known to the police.
The alleged assailant is a security guard at a casino in Tacarigua. A muscular figure whose height was given at just over six feet, the Enterprise resident had prior arrests for a string of infractions against the law that included two robbery cases with violence, housebreaking and buggery.
He is believed to have two prior convictions although that could not be confirmed at the time of publication. On 20 January, Worrell, according to a co-worker, realised that she forgot her phone and decided to return, alone, to retrieve it from the office at around 5 pm. The assailant allegedly claimed to be walking along the street when he spotted an opportunity.
“We need to be careful and not take chances in lonely environs,” the law enforcement source told Wired868.com. “Young ladies really have to mindful about that.”
The assailant, a hulking figure said to be a former sparring partner in a nearby boxing gym, supposedly told police that he followed Worrell and waited for her to come out of the office.
“He said he gave her two cuffs,” said the source. “She passed out and he took the cell phone.”
Worrell, a health and safety officer who represented Trinidad and Tobago at the 2009 Miss Tourism International in China, was discovered in a pool of blood with a shattered cheekbone and her jaw broken in two places.
Doctors at the St Clair Medical ICU (Intensive Care Unit), where she was treated before moving to St James Medical Complex, were non-committal about her chances of survival. Worrell still has meals through a tube and has no recollection of the violent incident; but she has regained consciousness and is undergoing therapy to recover mastery of her limbs.
She now spends weekends at home with her fiancé, Williams, and their 14-month-old daughter, Nevaeh, before returning to the St James Medical during the week.
PC Andre Forgenie was the officer assigned to the case under the instructions of Senior Superintendent Dulan Chan and Inspector Wayne Lawrence. At the crucial juncture, the police team expanded to include, among others, Superintendent Johnny Abraham and WPC Elcock.
Key to the arrest was the continual use of Worrell’s Blackberry Messenger, which was noticed by Williams.
Contrary to other media reports, investigating officers do not believe the assailant ever left Trinidad for Guyana. But Worrell’s phone did. The detained security guard is believed to have a close friend who is a Guyanese international.
Police officers were able to obtain help from Guyana to eventually lure the suspect into a staged meeting on the Chaguanas Main Road where he was arrested on Wednesday.
Williams, who played professionally in Hungary and Belgium and made his international senior debut at 18, is still shaken up by the brutal incident.
“I don’t know how to feel (about the arrest),” the 28-year-old goalkeeper told Wired868. “We just have to hope that justice is done in the end.”
He was grateful for the work of the Chaguanas lawmen and repeated his call for citizens and women in particular to be careful on the streets.
“You have to thank the Chaguanas police and Forgenie in particular,” said Williams. “He did his work and he was effective. He went the extra yard and I appreciate that.”
The alleged assailant is expected to appear before a Chaguanas magistrate on Monday. Williams doubts he would attend the court session, though, and said he is not ready to see Worrell’s attacker yet.
For now, the national footballer just wants to focus on helping his fiancée to a full recovery.