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  • Church caretaker held in connection with pastor's murder

    THE police say the caretaker of the Church Of God of Prophecy on Old Harbour Road in Spanish Town, St Catherine, has been held in connection with last month's murder of pastor James Johnson.

    His apprehension comes weeks after the police have been trying to have a sit-down with him following the brutal killing of James inside the church last month.

    According to the constabulary's Corporate Communications Unit, Johnson, a 29-year-old pastor from Union Estate in the parish, was reportedly in the middle of teaching a class, about 5:00 pm on September 20, when a gunman entered and shot him several times.

    Acting head of the Major Investigation Division Superintendent Paul Thomas told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that the suspect was found hiding in the ceiling of a house in Spanish Town, St Catherine, approximately 11:00 am Saturday.

    “We have the suspect in custody, who we will be questioning in regards to the murder. There are certain leads which we are following that led us to taking him into custody, and we wish to question him in the presence of his attorney as soon as the attorney is available,” Superintendent Thomas said.

    “This is someone who we have been trying to reach to have a conversation with him over the past two weeks, and he has been avoiding us in many ways, meaning that he has been speaking to us, making appointments, and not turning up. We actually went in search of evidence and actually found him. Based on that, and other issues, he was taken into custody,” the superintendent said.

    Security Minister Dr Horace Chang, in condemning the killing of one of the youngest licensed ordained ministers in the Church Of God of Prophecy, said then: “The invasion of murder into a church — a sacred place of worship — is utterly reprehensible”.

    “James Johnson will be remembered as a bright, passionate Jamaican who was engaged in his community, his church and nation-building,” the security minister said then.

    The Jamaica Umbrella Group of Churches had also condemned Johnson's killing.

    “As church, we hold dear the sanctity of life in regard to all. We are shocked and disturbed. We note with alarm the setting in which young Minister Johnson was cut down brutally. We also grieve at the violation of the place of refuge and the incursion on boundaries protecting the sanctity of that space which has been dedicated for the things of God and for uplifting people overall,” the group said in a statement last month.

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  • Jamaican in jail for beating ‘bunna man’ in Barbados

    Image result for bunna man

    A Jamaican man has been remanded in custody until September 6 in Barbados after having admitted to injuring a Barbadian man who he discovered was sexually involved with his wife.

    The local media reported that Alex Emanuel Golding, who described himself as an athlete, and who resided in St Michael, Barbados, admitted in court on Thursday to having caused serious bodily harm to Barbadian Kevin Thompson on August 28.

    Police reports are that both men rented apartments at a complex where a dispute developed on Monday after Golding, who said he is in Barbados for athletic training, discovered that Thompson and his wife were sexually involved.

    The discovery reportedly led to Golding going into a fit of rage, during which he took up a shovel and used it to hit Thompson on the ear and head generally.

    Following that assault, Golding walked into a police station with the shovel and handed it over to the cops.

    “I went to he (Thompson) and say (to him), ‘let’s talk man to man’,” Golding is reported to have said in court.

    “I asked he and he say, ‘No’… but he then said, ‘Yes’,” the Jamaican told the hearing.

    Then it got into numbers, which seemingly sparked the concerns that would lead to the wielding of the shovel.

    “I asked he how many times and he say, ‘Four times’,” Golding said further.

    “I asked: ‘You used a condom?’ Him say ‘Yes’,” Golding indicated.

    Then the wife was brought into the picture, and the interaction got physical.

    “I call my wife and confront her and we in an argument and this fella (Thompson) come and grab me up by the throat,” said Golding.

    “I turn ‘round and pick up a shovel and hit he. He come up to me again and I hit him again, and I walk to the station,” he said in court in the presence of Thompson.

    The response from the complainant was a declaration of, “Total lies, sir!”

    At that point, Thompson was given a chance to give his side of the story.

    He said he came home from work and was brushing his teeth, when Golding approached him.

    “She didn’t have no money to pay the rent and we became friends and became intimate…,” he said of his reported involvement with Mrs Golding.

    “He (Mr Golding) turned and hit me with a shovel. I never touch the man. I went to the doctor and I get 13 stitches,” Thompson said.

    Following the outline from Thompson, the presiding magistrate pointedly told him that he had crossed a line and was wrong to have done so.

    Then came the issue of compensation from Golding. Thompson indicated that he wanted $5,000 (US$2,500), to which Golding replied that he could not meet the requested amount in one payment, as he was not working, and was an athlete training in Barbados.

    He said his apartment was burglarised on the night of the incident, and that “all my money and stuff were stolen”.

    He suggested paying $200 every two weeks until the amount was settled, but Thompson refused the offer, telling the magistrate that Golding could leave the country before completing the overall payment.

    Thompson then said he would accept $3,000 (US$1,500), but there was no one to pay the amount on Golding’s behalf.

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  • Another woman murdered: latest victim a 66-year-old farmer

    File photo

    Two days after a woman was found with her throat slashed and her body stuffed into an igloo in Manchester, the police there are busy again investigating the brutal murder of another female, this time a 66-year-old woman who was also knifed to death.

    The latest victim has been identified as 66-year-old farmer, Winifred Elliot, of New Forrest district in the parish.

    Reports are that the woman was found with multiple stab wounds in her house on Thursday morning.

    The find has again sent residents of the parish on edge and in grief.

    Only days earlier, the body of a young woman was found with her throat slashed inside an igloo along the Winston Jones Highway near Mandeville.

    The Mandeville Police reported in that case that about 1:25 a.m., a mobile patrol team saw a grey Toyota Starlet motorcar parked on the roadway with the front doors open.

    Checks were made and the body of the female, with its throat slashed, was found wrapped in a sheet and stuffed inside a cooler box on the backseat of the vehicle.

    The scene was processed and the body removed to the morgue, pending identification and a postmortem examination.

    The body of the victim is described as being of brown complexion, medium built, about 168 centimetres (five feet six inches) long, with tall, natural hair.

    The woman appears to be in her late 20s, the police said.

    Detectives assigned to the Manchester Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the body.

    The police are asking anyone who can assist in identifying the woman’s body, or who has information that can otherwise assist in their investigation, to contact the Mandeville CIB at 876-962-2832, the police 119 emergency number, or the nearest police station.

    Persons may also call Crime Stop at 311 or 811.

    The gruesome discoveries in Manchester came amid the chopping death of a woman and her 10-year-old son in St Ann, shortly after the horrific rape, murder and burning of another female, this time a child identified as 14-year-old Yetanya Francis, a student of Kingston Technical High School, who was killed in Arnett Gardens, St Andrew after going missing there on Thursday night. Her charred remains were found the following day.

    Francis' fate in particular triggered shock and anger from Jamaicans far and wide, including Prime Minister Andrew Holness, whose response included a declaration that: “The thugs who murdered 14-year-old Yetanya Francis have no place in the Jamaican society we are seeking to create.”

     

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  • Woman's body with throat slashed found in igloo in Manchester

    Police are probing yet another murder of a female, after a young woman’s body was found with its throat slashed inside an igloo along the Winston Jones Highway in Manchester on Tuesday morning.

    The Mandeville Police made the macabre discovery about 1:25am, after a mobile patrol team saw a grey Toyota Starlet motorcar parked on the roadway with the front doors open.

    Checks were reportedly made and the body of the female, with its throat slashed, was found wrapped in a sheet inside a cooler box on the backseat.

    The scene was processed and the body removed to the morgue pending identification and post mortem examination, according to the police.

    The body of the victim is described as being of brown complexion, medium build, about 168 centimetres (5 feet 6 inches) long, with tall, natural hair.

    The woman appears to be in her late 20s, the cops said.

    Detectives assigned to the Manchester Criminal Investigations Branch are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the body.

    The Police are asking anyone who can assist in identifying the woman’s body, or who has information that can assist in their investigations to contact the Mandeville CIB at 876-962-2832, Police 119 emergency number or the nearest Police Station. Persons may also call Crime Stop at 311 or 811.

    The gruesome discovery comes less than a week after the killing of a 14-year-old girl in Trench Town, St Andrew triggered outrage across the nation.

    Yetanya Francis, a student of Kingston Technical, was killed after she went missing on Thursday night. Her charred remains were found the following day.

    Prime Minister Andrew Holness expressed outrage at the incident, saying: “The thugs who murdered 14-year-old Yetanya Francis have no place in the Jamaican society we are seeking to create.”

     

     

     

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  • Bullas To Be Removed From Schools - Tufton Appeals For Support Of Teachers To Help Students Eat Healthier

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    Several food items, including the popular bulla cake, will be affected by the collaborative effort of the ministries of education and health to remove products high in sugar content from local schools as part of a campaign to promote healthier eating among students.

    Education Minister Ruel Reid made the announcement while addressing yesterday's final day of the three-day Jamaica Teachers' Association's (JTA) 54th annual conference in Montego Bay, St James.

    "Only two per cent of our schools have their own canteens, so Nutrition Products Limited will be reorganised to support the delivery of lunches by providing the resources, or material, for you to provide the meals, only in those schools that don't have canteens," Reid told school administrators.

    "Bullas and all those things will be withdrawn, generally, from the market, and it (approved food items) has to be whatever products are very much consistent with the Government's nutrition policy. In terms of sugar content, the manufacturers will get a standard they will have to operate with."

    Since 1973, Nutrition Products Limited has been providing public schools with meal items, including bulla cakes and bag juices, under the education ministry's portfolio.

    In a short presentation before Reid spoke, Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton appealed to the JTA delegates to support the overall effort to promote a healthier lifestyle and dietary choices in their schools.

    "The ministries of education and health will have to get all the critical stakeholders, teachers being part of that, to help us provide the guidance necessary to our young people as the first line of defence to combat lifestyle ailments," said Tufton.

    He continued: "An announcement was made around sugary drinks in schools and the introduction of the Jamaica Moves programme, starting in the next school year. The message from you is going to be absolutely critical in supporting the success of this new programme that we will embark on as part of the preventative approach to health care."

     

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