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Name Charge Outcome Punishment Appeal
Daniel Young Practising obeah Guilty Imprisonment None View details
Case details   
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Date of source
Trial Type:
Court or location:
Port of Spain City Magistrates' Court
Court type:
Magistrates' Court
Trinidad POSG dataset
Title/Headline/Description Publication/Reference Date
Obeah Raid at San Juan. Middleaged Vincentian Arrested. Important Disclosures. Port of Spain Gazette 22/05/1931

Port of Spain detectives raided 'an alleged obeah stronghold at Petit Bourg in San Juan' yesterday. They arrested Daniel Young, a 'tall, black, middleaged native of St. Vincent, on a charge of obtaining money by the assumption of supernatural powers.'

'Hid away in the heart of a lonely area, with nothing around but dense foliage and guarded by several fierce dogs, Young lived in a small cottage.' The raid was carried out by Detective Lance Corporals Babb, King, Noreiga (sic) and Constable Nicholls. They used an 'East Indian woman' as a decoy. When she was inside they approached the house with difficulty due to darkness and dogs barking 'but when they got in they surprised Young in the act of exorcising an evil spirit which was troubling the woman-decoy. He was doing this with a quatro and guitar, sitting before a quantity of lighted candles resting on a book.'

A search revealed 'several bottles of red liquid, one of which had been given to the woman decoy as soucoyants blood, the Sixth Book of Moses, the 6th and 7th Books of Moses, a copy of the Bible and innumerable letters addressed, some to Mr Young, others to Brother Young, and many to Dear Young. The letters are from all parts of the colony, from persons of every walk of life, all thanking Young for the good work he had done for them. The majority are from the oilfields, and in these were mentioned the names of office and field managers whose favour the writers desired Young to obtain for them. A m...

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Obeah Man Sent to Jail. 'Should not be left at large' says Magistrate. Books of 'Magic' in Court Port of Spain Gazette 17/06/1931

'Not even his knowledge of 'black magic' his possession of 'Seven Books of Moses', his claim to being a healer and a solver of other people's difficulties could save Daniel Young from the iron hand of the law yesterday.' Young appeared before Mr Louis E Wharton, in City Magistrates' Court, charged with 'obtaining $2 by the assumption of supernatural power'. As he was sentenced, 'a look of perplexity broke over this countenance. It soon disappeared and calm resignation took its place. The defendant was evidently a well known 'Obeah Man' for when the raid was made on his premises, about thirty letters, coming from persons from even the most remote corners of Trinidad, were discovered.'

'Amusing' letters were read in court. 'One from a school master, explained to the defendant that he was momently expecting a transfer. He besought him to use his 'influence' on Director of education so he would not have to move too far from home. Another from a husband asking him to 'fix up ' his wife and sweet heart and his employer so not dismissed.'

Using Rufus Headley and Soomaria as decoys, Lieutenant-Corporal Babb handed them two marked $1 notes. He arranged that Headley would cough when everything was ready. The detective and his assistants hid. Headley and Soomaria entered the house. Young 'declared that she had four spirits in [sic] her. He promised to undertake the casting out of the devils for the sum of two dollars.' This money was handed over. Young left the ro...

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  • Books
  • Cash transaction
  • Clothing, bodily characteristics or age of defendant
  • Duppies
  • East Indian client
  • Letters to defendant
  • Notable case
  • Previous convictions
  • Ritual description
  • Successful practitioner
  • Transnational