Sunday 9 August, 2020

St Thomas businessman insists family of six killed over drugs, money

The 50-year-old St Thomas chef, Michael McLean, who is on trial for the 2006 killing of a family of six, including four children, told the court on Thursday that he led detectives to the body of one of the victims who was buried in a shallow grave in St Mary.

Testimony was earlier given at the trial that while giving a caution statement to the police, McLean abruptly stopped and led them to the shallow grave where the body of 6-year-old Jihad McCool was buried nearly a week earlier. She had been suffocated.

While facing intense cross examination from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewelyn on Thursday, McLean insisted that the six family members were murdered by gunmen over money and drugs.

He also claimed he was fearful and traumatized after the alleged gunmen left him unharmed and as such did not report the murders to the police. He could not say why he was spared while the women and children were killed. The DPP described McLean as both a cold and outrageous liar.

Claiming to have survived the slaughter of the women and children by the ‘gunmen’, McLean told the court that he later had sexual intercourse with his ex-girlfriend.

The businessman is on trial for killing his girlfriend, Terry-Ann Mohammed, her son, Jessie O'Gilvie, as well as her aunt Patrice Martin-McCool, and her children, Lloyd McCool, Jihad McCool and Sean Chin on February 26, 2006. The killings reportedly occurred after McLean was given a meal by his girlfriend which he later said “did not agree” with him.

Four of the victims were found along the Prospect Beach in St Thomas with their throats slashed while Mohammed was found in bushes in Needham Pen, also in St Thomas. She had burns all over her body. 

On Thursday, McLean testified that all four children were like his own. However he described Jihad as his "sweetheart".

He told the court that she was the child who would wait up until he got home at nights and that she would have dinner with him.

"I am suggesting to you that it was because she was your heartbeat why you couldn't slash her throat?" the DPP stated.

"No, Madam," McLean replied.

"I am going to suggest  to you that it was you who smothered her?" Llewellyn continued.

Once more McLean said “No, Madam.

And McLean also told the court that on the day of the murders, he left his house with a chopper, a machete, a 12-inch knife, pitch fork and a hoe.

He said an area near to the restaurant he operated was flooded and he used the items to clear the area. But his testimony was contradicted by one of his employees who testified that there was no rainfall or flooding that day.

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