Phyllis Coard, Member of “Grenada 17”, Dies in Jamaica

The late Phyllis Coard and her husband, ex-deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard

The only woman who was convicted in Grenada for the 1983 murder of the country’s Prime Minister Maurice Bishop has died.

Phyllis Coard, 73, died at a hospital in Kingston on Sunday. The Jamaican-born was the wife of former Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard who was believed to be the mastermind of the bloody coup in which Bishop was killed.

Shortly after the uprising, Phyllis, her husband and several government and army officials were rounded up by troops from the United States and Caribbean troops that stormed the island on October 25, 1983.

Six days after the invasion, Bishop was executed at Fort George along with three ministers – Unison Whiteman, Norris Bain and Jacqueline Creft.

As one of the Grenada 17, Phyllis Coard was convicted in 1983 for her role in the murder Bishop.

In February 2000, she was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour which doctors said would require treatment by an oncologist.

At that time, Grenada was without an oncologist or facilities to treat cancer patients and Coard was released on medical condition to seek treatment abroad for six months in the first instance.

It was also agreed that she be allowed, on medical grounds, to apply for extensions of this temporary respite from her prison term.

She left Grenada for Jamaica to receive treatment.

According to New Today Grenada – Phyllis Coard was ailing for a number of years and spent the last few months in and out of hospital suffering from medical complications.

One of her daughters was quoted as saying that her mother died at a hospital in Kingston.

The medical doctor who was looking after Phyllis reportedly told the daughter that she was without a pulse when they got to her.




  1. She should never have been released on compassionate grounds to seek treatment. She should have been left to die her natural death in prison, to experience what suffering is. Pity she was not executed according to her original sentence. So much for West Indian justice.


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