‘Living hell’

A murder convict who has been in prison for at least the past two years is reportedly still issuing orders for people to flee their homes in the Red Hills Road/Cassia Park area of St Andrew, leaving many residents questioning why he is being allowed to continue his reign of terror.

His latest victim told the Jamaica Observer that she and her immediate family were forced to live in a hotel for a month after refusing to pay extortion money to men who report to the convict, who is known to be a don.

“If you don’t do what he asks, even though he is in prison, you can be killed. That prompted me to leave. I had to pick up my kids in the middle of the night and go check into a hotel, and I lived there for one month. It cost me $10,800 per night to stay there and that never included food,” she told the Observer last Wednesday.

“I waited until nights to go out and buy food for the children. Life is very much different from how it was before. Every night before mi go mi bed mi ask God fi protect us from him and his cronies, and mi ask God fi provide fi me and di kids. It is a good thing my relatives have the heart to help me out. All my saving went down. Will the Government continue to allow them to destroy people’s lives?

“I had to pull my kids out of school. All of what I bought for them to go to school went down the drain. I couldn’t send them back to the same school because the whole community knows their schools. Him send him cronies to inquire about the kids,” she said.

According to her, numerous people have fled the community in fear for their lives. She pointed out that one woman in particular had to flee because thugs linked to the incarcerated don claimed she was selfish and did not want to pay extortion. Eventually, they fire-bombed her house.

“Him tek over nuff people house because him want to rent dem out so he can make a money. He has his family members and some likkle pickney who he calls on the phone and send dem around to people he wants to talk to. If you don’t take the phone, you are under watch. If you take the phone, he gives his orders.”

The woman shared that even her children have to be looking over their shoulders.

“My children are big enough to understand the situation, and it worries them. They cannot live a normal life. They have to live secluded. They cannot go out to run up and down. If we go on the road and see a bike, we start to panic. I am not used to that. How the prison authorities allow him to have dat big edge? It would seem like he is above the law, because no matter how people are against it, him always get back a phone and have people out pon di road a do things for him. A pure likkle pickney go out and watch people fi dem,” she told the Observer.

Another woman, who had to flee the community two years ago due to fear of this same don, said her life has been a “living hell”. She lamented that after working hard to build a house, she cannot understand how one man can decide from inside prison that he wants to rent it out to maintain himself.

“Mi out deh inna di cold a sleep pon grung as a big woman. Him have some house weh him mark inna di area and seh dem house deh belong to him. None a dem never help me buy one block or steel. The extortion is bad. Dem just walk inna people place and seh dem a collect rent. If they don’t comply, dem get threat seh dem a go dead,” she told the Observer.

“Two weeks from now mi haffi move from where I live now. Mi can’t find nuh peace. Sometimes mi can’t even find food fi eat. Right now mi a pay $30,000 fi a little room, and when mi cook the lady weh collect the rent want food from the pot. It’s like another extortion racket that mi run inna. Right now mi a talk to you and tears just a roll. Mi tired fi cry. Mi nuh know weh Government a do, or what the police are doing,” she said.

In 2020, the don was accused of compiling a death list from behind bars, ordering his subordinates to carry out hits on people who refused to pay extortion. One victim, 46-year-old Marva Govie, was shot dead on May 24 that year. Govie was allegedly ordered to pay $50,000 after she held a round robin party but could not meet his demands.

Another victim, 26-year-old chef Philando Clarke, was shot dead on May 31, 2020.

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