View Full Version : British couple tell horror after being attacked with a machete in their Tobago home

September 5th, 2009, 5:03 AM
I find this story incredibly sad.. This story will keep you reading.

Words seem inadequate when face-to-face with Peter and Murium Green. Even the vivid scars, which snake across Murium's broken nose and cheeks and criss-cross the back of Peter's fractured skull, cannot describe the brutality of the attack which so nearly killed them.
On August 1, as they dozed in the afternoon sun, a man strolled into the garden of their villa on the Caribbean island of Tobago and, without reason or warning, hacked them almost to death.
He stole nothing - not even the cash from Peter's wallet on the kitchen counter. His intention, it seems, was just to kill them - and it is nothing short of miraculous that he did not succeed.


Scarred: Peter Green has only recently woken from a coma while his wife Murium underwent two rounds of reconstructive surgery

'He meant to finish us off, no doubt, and he probably thought he had,' says Murium, sitting at Peter's hospital bedside. 'But someone or something must have been watching over us. I can't think of another way to explain how we're both here now. We just feel so, so lucky to be alive and together.'
With grief and gratitude, they squeeze each other's hands as they speak publicly for the first time about the incident. It made headlines around the world and dealt a perhaps irreparable blow to the reputation of Tobago - a paradise island, reliant on tourism, but where violent crime is steadily on the rise.
Although tears well up in their eyes, they tell their horrific story with extraordinary composure.

Given that Murium has undergone two rounds of reconstructive surgery to rebuild her face and reattach her jaw, and Peter has only recently woken from a coma, induced by his doctors to help reduce the swelling on his brain, it is astonishing that they are able to speak at all.

Horrific injuries: The couple were set upon at their house in Bacelot, Tobago

And it is even more astounding that they can put into words what they remember of the afternoon when their Caribbean dream came to a terrible and bloody end.

'It is a struggle to describe this horror, this absolute horror, that someone could do this to us,' says Murium, 59. 'If anyone ever walked past the house, asked for a drink of water, or a beer, or a couple of dollars, we'd give it to them. It's just the way of life there and we loved it.
'But that man walked in while we were sleeping and did what he did. We're so lucky to be alive that I don't want to spend the rest of our lives full of hatred. But at the moment I can't help it. Every minute of every day, I damn that man to hell.'

What they cannot say is what their attacker looked like. The damage was done before they could open their eyes, and afterwards Murium saw only his trainers as he walked casually away.
The day began as it always did for the Greens at their second home in Tobago - with a two-mile walk along the golden sands of Minister Bay, the beach just metres from their door, at the end of a private path through lush tropical marshland.

Peter and Murium, pictured at their villa on the island of Tobago, were attacked without reason or warning

'We always wake up around 6am and walk along the beach,' says Peter, who is 65. 'It is a picture-perfect Caribbean beach, lined with palm trees. At this time of year, we have our eyes open for leatherback turtle nests which we always try to hide in the sand to protect them from the locals who steal the eggs to eat.
'After that, we often head into Scarborough, the island's capital, to shop before it gets too hot and send a few emails home from the internet cafe. We might eat lunch at a local restaurant, or at home on the patio, before a doze and a read in the afternoon,' he says.
In the evenings, they were never short of an invitation. In the eight years since they bought their four-bedroom beachside villa in fashionable Bacolet - a place where they hoped to spend much of their retirement - they have made many good friends, both expat and local.
'There's always a pool party, something to do or someone new to meet,' says Peter, who with Murium enjoyed three or four long holidays there every year, spending the rest of their time at their apartment in Wellington, Somerset, where they owned and ran a small hotel until their retirement in 2006. 'I kept slipping in what I now know was my wife's blood'

On that dreadful day, they set about some gardening when they returned from the beach. 'We were cutting back the palms and dragging the leaves out through the gate,' says Peter.
But as the sun rose, it became too hot to continue so the couple took a break.
Murium remembers: 'It was scorching, so I said: "Let's go and sit on the patio." We'd had something to eat and some juice to drink, then Peter went inside to get our books.
'I was sitting there with my legs in the sun, with Pete just behind me, and we must have just dropped off to sleep.'
With the gate unsecured, their attacker entered quietly, carrying a foot-long machete. They believe Peter was struck first. He remembers nothing except the shock of a sharp blow to the head.

In fact, he was struck four or five times. The tip of the blade cracked his skull open - 'just like a coconut,' he says - but somehow, it didn't hit his brain.
He was also cut across the nose and smashed so hard in the face, probably with the butt of the knife, that his cheekbones were fractured and he lost several teeth, as well as the feeling on the left side of his face and the sight in his left eye.
Barely conscious after that first blow, Peter made no sound, so Murium knew nothing of the attack until she was struck herself.
'All of a sudden, it felt like my head just exploded. All I could feel was the intense weight of my head. It was as if the roof had fallen in,' she says. With one hit, the attacker had chopped into her face, smashing both cheekbones and eyesockets, and downwards through the bridge of her nose, detaching her jaw.
'I must have passed out for a while. The next thing I remember is falling forward with my hands on my knees and seeing all this blood.


Pictured: British husband left paralysed and wife who lost part of her jaw in horrific machete attack on Caribbean island (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1204029/British-couple-hacked-knife-wielding-robber-Caribbean-resort-island.html)
Man admits machete attack on holiday island pensioner (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1205309/Man-admits-machete-attack-holiday-island-pensioner.html)
'I had no idea what had happened. I remember trying to say to Peter: "I need your help." I hadn't looked round by then.'
When she did, she saw what looked like a man with no chance of survival.
'I couldn't stand up, so I crawled round on my tummy into the back of the house, trailing blood everywhere. I got to the phone and managed to dial 911. I think I heard a voice on the end of the line say "Which emergency service?" then I felt someone take my hand.'
Chillingly, she thought for a second that someone had come to her rescue.
'I was so relieved. I thought: "Thank God. Someone's here. Someone can help." I remember, his hands were warm as he gently peeled my fingers off the phone, one by one.
'I couldn't see him, but his voice - which had a local accent - spoke to me almost soothingly. He said: "No, no, no. Not yet. Not yet." Then I heard him smash the receiver.'
Murium passed out again, and when she woke she was lying in a different position in the room. Tests confirmed that she was not sexually assaulted, but she has no idea what happened while she was unconscious.
Knowing that if her attacker saw her move he would likely strike again to make sure she was dead, she lay completely still. But out of the corner of her eye, she saw him walking out of the door.


The British Foreign Office has revised its safety warning for tourists travelling to Tobago in light of the attack on the Greens

Somehow, she found the strength to pull herself along the floor to the patio, then round the side of the house towards the gate. She heard Peter shouting her name, but because of her terrible facial injuries, she was unable to shout back.
Peter says: 'I remember falling off the chair and hitting the ground. It became apparent very quickly that something was seriously wrong, but I had no idea what it was. I thought perhaps something had fallen from an aeroplane and hit us. I just didn't know.
'Panic set in. I was calling out for Murium and I was trying to stand up, but my feet were slipping on the patio. I now know that I was sliding in my wife's blood.'
Murium pulled open the gate and crawled onto the road to flag down some help.
'A couple of cars stopped, and I was aware that people were taking pictures of me, but they didn't help. They just drove on,' she says, seeming to accept that such callousness is par for the course on their beloved but troubled island. In the searing heat, she made it to the grass verge at the side of the road, which is where she was found by a local woman wearing 'lovely bright colours', walking with her daughter.
Screaming all the way, the woman ran for help at the neighbouring house. By then Peter's blood trail led from the patio into the house, but he has no memory of how he got there. 'I only remember hearing my neighbour shout: "Oh my God. How can anybody do that to another human being?"'
Then he adds quietly: 'I can't shake this feeling of guilt and inadequacy that I wasn't able to help my wife when she needed me most.'
As Peter's surgeon told him, the attacker could not have done this if he had seen Peter and Murium as fellow human beings.
But for them - a devoted couple, married for almost 37 years, who fostered several children and are known to their friends for the compassion they show others - the coldblooded and senseless nature of the attack is especially hard to accept.
It is a cruel irony that they hadn't even planned to be in Tobago this summer. But then Peter was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and after his first bout of treatment they decided to jet off for a much-needed rest. The worry of his cancer has taken a back seat in the past month.
Their 30-year-old son, Martin, only heard what had happened when, three days later, it was reported in the British press and a friend called to tell him. He was on a beach in Cornwall and collapsed with shock.
He finds it harder than either of his parents to talk about the events of the past month. 'When I spoke to the doctors, they said I should fly out straight away because, basically, they expected Dad to die very quickly,' he says.
'People took photos as I lay in the road, but didn't help me'

He and Peter's sister were flown to Trinidad at the expense of the tourist board. The Greens had been airlifted to Trinidad's Mount Hope Hospital, where, Peter says: 'The doctors and nurses used 101 per cent of what little resources they had. I don't doubt that I owe my life to them.'

Orville London, the Chief Secretary of the Tobago House Assembly (the equivalent of the island's Prime Minister), visited Murium there.
'He was so caring and concerned for us,' she says. 'I told him that we knew how wonderful the people of Tobago are, and how sorry we were that, at that moment, the actions of one man would overshadow all their kindness.'
After a week, Murium was flown to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, and eight days later, after doctors in Trinidad successfully removed a potentially life-threatening blood clot, Peter arrived at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton, where he remains.
Despite initial worries that he would be partially paralysed, this week Peter took his first steps since the incident. In that time, one arrest has been made. The couple are doubtful it is the right man, but police are awaiting results of forensic tests.
Peter and Murium, however, believe they were attacked by the same man who last year hacked to death Swedish couple Oke Olsoon and Anna Sundsval, at a resort eight miles away.
'I honestly believe there's a guy on the loose that gets a kick out of cutting up white folk,' says Peter.
It pains him to say it, because he is aware of the damage their story will do to tourism and the local economy. The British Foreign Office has revised its safety warning to tourists to take account of this attack.
The Greens, though, were not average-tourists or expats living an exclusive-and conspicuous lifestyle, separate from the Tobagoan community.
'We didn't tell a lot of people we had property in Tobago, because we knew how it might sound,' says Peter. 'There's an image of rich expats living a life of luxury, but it wasn't like that.
'We'd been on a few Caribbean cruises and bought in Tobago because property was very cheap. It meant we could have a place in the sun, at a reasonable price, to enjoy once we'd sold the hotel and downsized our home.
'From the start, we felt it was important to integrate. We had great relationships with our neighbours and became such good friends with some local families that we had their children come to stay with us in England,' says Peter.
'We bought our friends wind-up radios so they could keep an ear out for storm warnings and landslides when the weather gets rough. I used to drink at the same bars as the truck drivers - not in hotels.
'We always donated money and clothing to a local school called The Happy Haven, where they look after children with learning difficulties. And we'd often go over there to listen to them sing, which was always magical.'
Murium adds: 'Our friends there are devastated at what's happened. The locals are so angry. They have been sending emails and letters and flowers to us, ever since we came home.

'There are a lot of really special people there and we can't wait to see them again.' But that, of course, will mean returning to the scene of this monstrous crime and, despite their positive thinking, neither Peter nor Murium is sure how they will feel when the time comes.
'Even if we decide to sell the house, we will have to go back there to clear the place. But Murium isn't sure she can set foot in that garden again. All we can do now is keep on the road to recovery and be grateful that he didn't kill us,' says Peter.
And with unfathomable courage he adds: 'But it is our dream that, this time next year, we'll be sitting at a bar in Tobago, with a bottle of champagne and all our friends, as if this nightmare never happened

September 5th, 2009, 5:23 AM
I read most of it and I dont think I needed to read more.

You know the world has truly stooped low when people literally go around intending to murder innocent people just for the thrill of it, of course I'm not trying to say that if they had a motive it would be alright.

The damage the attacker has done is unbelievable and this is the kind of thing you would never wish upon anyone.

Its just disgusting.

Captain Fabio
September 5th, 2009, 6:29 AM
Oh joy.
They are back.

Pointless new topics that have NO DISCUSSION!

September 5th, 2009, 6:43 AM
Oh joy.
They are back.

Pointless new topics that have NO DISCUSSION!


And besides, this happened, like, a month ago. >>

~*!*~Tatsujin Gosuto~*!*~
September 8th, 2009, 7:49 AM
Oh joy.
They are back.

Pointless new topics that have NO DISCUSSION!

oh joy.
they are back.

pointless post for no reason instead of just posting something about the article it doesn't really matter if it's old

anyways I kinda agree with Skii on this one, what is wrong with people, seriously x_X
People can't relax on vacation anymore and then get attacked just because the other person has a pleasure of doing it?


Captain Fabio
September 8th, 2009, 10:59 AM
oh joy.
they are back.

pointless post for no reason instead of just posting something about the article it doesn't really matter if it's old
~*!*~There is nothing to really post on the artical. FFS~*!*~