Thursday 27 February, 2020

Majority of returning residents’ murders being cleared up – DCP Hay

Deputy Commussioner of Police, Selvin Hay (left), alongside Commissioner, Major General Antony Anderson (centre) and Assistant Commissioner Fitz Bailey.

Deputy Commussioner of Police, Selvin Hay (left), alongside Commissioner, Major General Antony Anderson (centre) and Assistant Commissioner Fitz Bailey.

The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has cleared up at least six of the 11 cases where returning residents were killed this year, according to Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Selvin Hay.

This is a cleared up rate of roughly 55 per cent in comparison to the JCF’s normal cleared-up rate of approximately 43 per cent for major crimes, including murders.

DCP Hay, who is in charge of the crime and security portfolio, explained that cleared-up means a suspect was arrested and charged.

At the time of his response, one other suspect in the killing of a returning resident was still in custody and had been charged for other offences.

“In four others, arrests have been made, persons questioned and released,” Hay told Loop News.

He also revealed that “in all but one of the 11 cases - that involving Peggy Aljoe - was the (alleged) perpetrator (of the murder) a stranger to the victim.”

The senior cop noted that in terms of the accused persons, “They are people who were taken into their (the victims) lives and homes; some even developed some form of intimacy (with them).”

Aljoe was the 74-year-old sister of former Chief Justice, Zaila McCalla. Her body was found on October 24 with abrasions and bludgeon wounds close to the perimeter fence of her property in Bridgewater district in Discovery Bay, St Ann.

This was days after she had returned to the island from the United States.

A man, 19-year-old Oral Redway, a labourer of St Ann and Westmoreland addresses, has been charged with Aljoe’s murder. He was apprehended by detectives attached to the Major Investigation Division (MID) in Townhead district, Westmoreland.

When his premises was searched, several items belonging to the deceased woman were allegedly found.

National Security Minister, Dr Horace Chang, said last week that the majority of the eleven cases in which returning residents were killed so far this year, were of a domestic nature, and indicated that the victims were murdered by persons they knew or had gotten close to.

Chang described the killings as “wicked and un-Jamaican".

His comments were an apparent response to a report carried by Loop News on December 4, in which Percival LaTouche, President of the Jamaica Association for the Resettlement of Returning Residents, urged Jamaicans overseas not to return home, to avoid being killed in Jamaica.

LaTouche was reacting to the murder of returning resident, 44-year-old Karen Cleary-Brown, whose body was found buried in a shallow grave on her property in Boscobel, St Mary a day earlier.

LaTouche said the returning residents’ community, which is said to be in excess of 30,000, is cowering in fear due to crimes being committed against its members.

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