Police probing demolition of Kingstown Park house
December 6, 2013
Police probing demolition of Kingstown Park house

Police are treating the demolition of a dwelling house in Kingstown Park two weeks ago as a serious offence.{{more}}

SEARCHLIGHT was informed by head of the Criminal Investigations Department, Assistant Superintendant of Police Sydney James that the matter is being investigated, and to date, no one has been held responsible.

The house was occupied by teacher and soca artiste Derron Dennie, also known as “Full Clip”, and was made uninhabitable on November 20, when the roof was removed, holes were torn into the walls, and some of the walls were broken down.

The house has since been completely demolished, and the rubble has been removed.

Dennie lived in the house for approximately ten years.

The property is at the centre of a dispute between siblings, who are the beneficiaries of the Samuel Cummings estate.

According to an affidavit obtained by SEARCHLIGHT, and signed by Daniel Cummings, administrator of the estate of Samuel Cummings, the house is located partly on the access road to lands owned by Levi Cummings and Esther Hutchinson, nee Cummings.

The Affidavit (civil suit number 203 of 2013, filed in the East Caribbean Supreme Court on October 30, 2013), was filed by Daniel Cummings in response to an injunction granted to Derron Dennie on September 25, 2013 and an application for continuation of the injunction on October 22, 2013.

Dennie sought to restrain respondents Daluas Cummings and Hutchinson, his uncle and aunt respectively, or their agents, from trespassing, damaging, defacing or in any way disrupting on hindering his use or enjoyment of the property.

In Daniel Cummings’ affidavit, in which he opposed Dennie’s application for the continuation of the injunction, he outlined that Dennie was allowed to occupy the house in 2003, and that it was always the intention of all the beneficiaries of the estate to demolish the house, a move necessary so that Levi Cummings and Hutchinson could have unimpeded access and egress to and from their lands, and for Greta Cummings to enjoy the full extent of her land, which is next to the disputed property.

Daniel Cummings claims in his affidavit that some time this year, he visited the house to speak to Dennie to explain to him why he needed to vacate the property, and that he would be accommodated at an apartment belonging to Daluas Cummings.

He said that he was informed by Dennie that the house belonged to his (Dennie’s) mother Thelma Dennie nee Cummings.

In his affidavit, Daniel Cummings states that his sister Thelma is not the owner of the property, neither does she have any authority to the property.

Two affidavits submitted on November 7, 2013 by Thelma Dennie and Alban Cummings (suit number 203 of 2013), dispute Daniel Cummings’ statement, that all beneficiaries agreed that the property should be divided among Levi and Greta Cummings and Esther Hutchinson.

According to the affidavits, their sister Esther Hutchinson has always used the footpath that exists between the land on which the house that was demolished is situated, and the land of Greta Cummings to gain access to her house.

They claim that there had never been any complaints.

The affidavits of Thelma and Alban state that a letter dated September 13, 2013 instructing that Derron Dennie vacate the property, was not endorsed by them.

SEARCHLIGHT also obtained that letter written by Daniel Cummings (in his capacity as Administrator of the estate of Samuel Cummings deceased), Greta Cummings, Esther Hutchinson and Levi Cummings, (beneficiaries) to Dennie, in relation to the property that he occupied.

The letter informed Dennie that he was occupying the property without the permission of the administrator, and without paying any rent.

The letter went on to say that Dennie was served notices during the past year to vacate and deliver up the property, since he allegedly had no claim, stake or interest in the property.

It further stated that the property was “due for demolition on October 16, 2013,” and that “the administrator or those authorized by him will enter the premises, peaceably” and “remove the subject property in as peaceful a manner as the circumstances permit.”

“That is to say that at no stage will they employ physical violence of any nature and/or destroy any of your personal belonging,” the letter stated.

In a story carried by SEARCHLIGHT last week entitled “Family Feud”, counsel for Derron Dennie, Olin Dennie had said that Justice Gertel Thom had given instructions that the family members resolve the matter without demolishing the home.

However, Registrar of the High Court Tamara Gibson-Marks told SEARCHLIGHT that according to Justice Gertel Thom’s note of the November 8 hearing, “the injunction granted to Dennie on a previous court date was discharged”, and there was no indication on the note that Justice Thom made any further order regarding the property.

Some time during the morning of November 20, 2013, the roof of the house was removed, and some of the walls demolished while Dennie was at work.

All his belongings were in the house when this was done.

To date, no one has claimed responsibility. (JJ)