The Jamaican police have rubbished claims by sections of the British media and gays rights activists that the killing of British diplomat, John Terry, was a homophobic attack.
TERRY. found strangled in his house
Terry was found strangled in his house at Mount Carey, just outside the tourist mecca of Montego Bay, St James on Thursday. His nude body was wrapped in a sheet and Scene Of Crime detectives discovered a handwritten note in the four-bedroom house, which allegedly stated the reason why Terry met his demise.
Police said the letter suggested that the crime may have been the end result of a lovers’ spat.
Head of Serious and Organised Crime, Assistant Commissioner Les Green, said the evidence pointed away from a hate crime.
“I don’t think it is a homophobic attack, although it’s been run in the UK press. It isn’t consistent with the information that we have. It is unlikely,” Green told the Sunday Observer.
Residents of Mount Carey told police and reporters that a young man was seen running from Terry’s home and had asked for directions to take a taxi into Montego Bay.
Crime scene experts have reported that the evidence at Terry’s home would suggest that he knew his attacker and had possibly let his attacker inside the confines of his home.
There was no sign of forced entry and neighbours reported seeing a young black man in his company in the days leading up to his murder.
Jamaica has long been lambasted by the gay community for its perceived intolerance of the gay lifestyle, which is often exacerbated by the anti-gay lyrics of some dancehall artistes.
But according to Green, while there have been attacks against homosexuals, few have ended in death.
“There have been attacks mainly in the Corporate Area but they have never ended in murder. There are openly gay people in Jamaica and they live quite openly and mingle freely,” Green said.
Police statistics show that the vast majority of gays who die violently in Jamaica are victims of crimes of passion. The murders are almost always carried out in the same fashion.
Most of the victims are found in the nude and their bodies bear multiple stab wounds and slashed throats. In some cases the victims were dismembered.
The most high-profile gay man to be killed in Jamaica was trade ambassador and special envoy of Jamaica, Peter King.
In March 2006, King’s body was found wrapped in a sheet in his bedroom at his Waterloo Road home in St Andrew. Investigators said the body bore multiple stab wounds, a slashed throat and was grotesquely mutilated.
Police said there were no signs of forced entry and seized several digital video discs and video cassettes which they said contained recordings of King’s jousts with his lovers.
A year after King’s murder police held Sheldon Pusey in Oracabessa, St Mary and charged him with murder. The cops said Pusey, also called ‘Brown Man’, was one of six men who attended a small party King held at his home on the night of his murder.
During the trial, several witnesses said King and Pusey were strutting about the residence in shorts, socks and sandals and hinted that they were involved in an intimate relationship.
In March this year, Pusey was sentenced to 15 years after being found guilty of manslaughter.
Two years before King’s murder, gay rights activist and founder of the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All Sexuals and Gays (JFLAG), Brian Williamson was found stabbed to death in his Haughton Avenue apartment in St Andrew.
Like King, Williamson’s body was badly mutilated with multiple chop and stab wounds. Again the police reported that there were no signs of forced entry although his room was ransacked and a safe believed to contain money was missing.