He was a lonely widower who craved companionship. She lived alone. The couple had known each other as children, having lived in the same community all their lives.
And as the years passed, Balkaran Dookie would stop by the woman’s home on his daily walks for a friendly chat.
Dookie, a pensioner, and Dolly Sooknanan, ten years his senior, would spend hours talking about everything – from their grandchildren to politics.
In 2013, the couple moved in together at Sooknanan’s home at Spring Trace, Quarry Village, Siparia.
And they shared a love which was accepted and respected by their relatives and neighbours.
“It was more like a companionship. Both of them were lonely and would enjoy each other’s company. I would pass by and see them sitting on the front porch, sometimes taking a drink. My father was happy and so was the woman who we called mammy,” his son, Mukesh Dookie, said.
Dookie was stabbed to death in the living room of his new home in May 2015. He was 76.
Dolly Sooknanan was stabbed six times but survived. No one heard the screams of the elderly couple that night but everyone heard their silence.
The front door was opened and the couple had not been seen since the night before.
Nothing unusual heard
Mukesh Dookie said: “Neighbours last saw them sitting on the front porch around 11.30 p.m.
“Every morning, they would usually come out on the porch where they had two recliners and have coffee together. But the neighbour did not see them that morning and she was concerned.
“The house was silent and that was not like them. I live on the road at the back of their house so the neighbour called my wife. I left work and I went to the house.”
Dookie said he entered the house through the front door. He called out to Sooknanan.
“Mammy answered and said come in and see the old man not waking up. She was on the ground and he was sitting on a recliner in the living room. He was bleeding from the chest. The lady was bleeding from the face and chest but she was talking,” he said.
Sooknanan was taken to the Siparia Health Facility and transferred to the San Fernando General Hospital.
Dookie was pronounced dead by a district medical officer. An autopsy found Dookie died from internal bleeding. He was stabbed multiple times in the chest.
Neighbours said they saw and heard nothing unusual on the night the couple was attacked. No one was detained in connection with the crime and police initially stated robbery was the motive.
In a statement, Sooknanan told police three people came to the house asking for money. She was unable to recall details of what happened, investigators said.
Dookie believes his father may have tried to fight off his attackers and was killed. “He is a man like that. He would not sit down and take that.”
But nothing valuable was taken from the house, police said. At his funeral service, Dookie’s grandchildren cried out for justice.
Sooknanan was discharged from the hospital to attend the funeral.