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Kescia Branche's murder: Freed taxi driver calls for case to be reopened

Matthew Munroe and his legal team. [Photo: MTV News Update/ Shemar Alleyne]

Matthew Munroe, who was acquitted of the 2017 murder of school teacher Kescia Branche, is calling for fresh investigations into the case, intending to find the woman's killer while bringing justice to the family.

Last week, Munroe, a taxi driver formerly of Diamond Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara (EBD), was acquitted of the crime after the prosecution failed to locate the key witness.

Munroe, who spent the last five years behind bars, maintained his innocence during a press conference held on Monday. A tearful Munroe said that finding the real killer would also clear his name of the crime.

"It is not fair for Ms. Branche's and her family, and even for her son, who is about nine or eight, it is not fair to them. Justice must be served not only for her but for me. I was taken away from my family for five years," the taxi driver asserted.

As Munroe fought back tears, he recounted the details of being allegedly beaten and tortured at the hands of ranks of the Guyana Police Force (GPF).

"They put me into a dark room, they had me all day, and they beat me, and they placed a plastic bag over my head. They beat me with a wire. They put me to lie down on the ground and throw water in my face and asked me to confess," he recalled.

He further stated that he and his legal team are currently discussing suing the state for wrongful imprisonment.

Dead: Kescia Branche

Meanwhile, Munroe's lead Attorney-at-Law, Dexter Todd, told media operatives that the evidence presented could not yield a conviction and was baffled how the case was thrown up from the Magistrate's Court straight to the High Court.

"There was actually no evidence from the beginning. Why was Matthew Munroe committed to stand trial in the High Court? I would use one word to describe it – that was a travesty," Todd stated.

To this end, Todd and his legal team are hoping to "partner with the state towards bettering the system" to avoid another person's life from being interrupted due to poor investigation.

"We need a better system; we need a better investigative arm; we need better investigation. One to ensure that when is before the court, that is up to substance – too often we treat these things likely where the lives of a person are interrupted."

Branche's battered body was found on November 5, 2017, at Louisa Row, Georgetown. She succumbed two days later at the Georgetown Public Hospital without regaining consciousness.

It was reported that her injuries appeared to be consistent with those inflicted by the impact of a vehicle. A Post Mortem Examination (PME) revealed that she succumbed to brain haemorrhage caused by blunt trauma to the head.


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