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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Accused child killer remanded

CLARK'S TOWN, Trelawny — Marvia Patterson, the woman charged with murder for the beheading of four-year-old Natasha Brown last week, was remanded into custody when she appeared in the Clark's Town Resident Magistrate's Court yesterday.
Accused child Murderer Marvia Patterson being escorted by Police officers from the Clarks Town RM Court

Patterson, 42, a labourer of Duanvale in the parish, is booked to reappear in court on August 2.

The matter was scheduled for the Falmouth Resident Magistrate's Court but was moved to Clark's Town at the "last minute", after the police reportedly received information that persons were planning to attack the accused, the Jamaica Observer learned.

But the transfer of the case to the sugar cane belt of Clark's Town did not prevent scores of persons from gathering in the precincts of the courthouse, which adjoins the Clark's Town Police Station. There, the boisterous crowd, under the watchful eyes of a large contingent of lawmen, hurled abuses and threats at Patterson.

"Let her out mek wi beat her; she is wicked; she is eating taxpayers' money," said an irate member of the crowd, when Patterson arrived in an unmarked grey Toyota Carolla motor car in the courtyard, under tight security.

Clad in an orange dress, white cap, black slippers and sporting a striped sweater, Patterson remained calm in court, and showed no remorse when the allegations against her were read.
In fact, her pleasant demeanour was in stark contrast to the scores of irate persons who had waited patiently outside the courthouse for her arrival.

The court was told that on the morning of May 28 about 8:30, Natasha's mother, Mervilyn Graham, accompanied her daughter a little distance from the Duanvale Basic School -- which she attended -- and returned home, hoping that the child would make it on her own to school.
But Natasha did not make it to school that morning, the court was told.

It is alleged that Patterson, who was later seen talking to the child and holding her hands, took her to bushes in Farkland and severed her head from the body.
It is further alleged that she then placed the head in a black scandal bag which she took to Faith Avenue in the farming community of Duanvale, a few metres from where she resides, and threw it into a sinkhole.

Hours later that day, Patterson was held by the police in the Falkland area and taken into custody.
The following morning Natasha's head and body were retrieved from the sinkhole.
And last Saturday, the chopper believed to be the murder weapon was also retrieved from the sinkhole.

The court was also told that Patterson reportedly told investigators that Graham was destroying the relationship she had with Natasha's father, adding that the father was not supporting the child she had borne for him.
The August 2 date was set by Resident Magistrate Icolyn Reid, after it was revealed that the case file on the matter was incomplete.

Patterson is being represented by attorney Winston Douglas.
Meanwhile, Margaret Riley Morrison, who told reporters that she is a relative of Graham, said family members have been trying their best to cope with the brutal murder of Natasha.

"The family has been getting counselling and prayers from a number of church members and friends, so although it is rough we are trying our best to cope," said Riley Morrrison.

Three men shot dead in Seaview Gardens

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Three men are reported dead in a shooting incident at Seaview Gardens in Kingston at about 8:30 pm Friday.

Information surrounding the shooting is unconfirmed at this time however early reports are that the killings resulted from a gang-related feud in the community.
More information later.

'Spare the rod, spoil the child' - Falmouth mayor calls for resumption of corporal punishment in schools


Mayor of Falmouth and Chairman of the Trelawny Parish Council, Garth Wilkinson, is calling for a resumption of corporal punishment in Jamaican schools.
According to Wilkinson, the Ministry of Education made a grave error when it suspended corporal punishment in schools.
"We have reached the stage where we have made the major mistake of saying no more flogging in schools. No longer can a teacher correct our children. It is a sad day when we can no longer punish our children. I am one of them that say no to sparing the rod and spoiling the child," Wilkinson said.
Mayor of Falmouth: Garth Wilkinson
The mayor made his comments during his address at the Kiwanis Club of New Falmouth's Family Forum held at the council's chambers last week Thursday.
He said it was painful that Jamaica had reached the stage where practices from other countries were adopted for use in Jamaica despite the fact that sometimes they did not apply to the local situation. He said corporal punishment, which was used in the past, was effective in curbing unruly behavior.
"We have adopted principles and qualities from other countries, which have built prisons where 70 per cent of the persons in prison are people looking like you and me. Why is it that we are taking things from other countries and just throwing them down on our country when they are not relevant to us? We must stop this practice," Wilkinson said.
The Falmouth mayor said the country had failed to effectively parent children as statistics painted a grim picture, placing children at the heart of the crimes which are being committed across the country.
"The simple fact is that 40 per cent of the crimes committed are by youth 13 to 18 years old, which means that we are failing in our ability to raise children. We, therefore, need to be the eyes and ears for the parents as all persons who children meet with have an influence on them," he said.
Wilkinson said children who were ignored today could become "assassins of the future", while those who were nurtured and guided would contribute to areas vital to national development. He added that children were vulnerable to the influence of various people in the society, including entertainers, who become role models for them.
"We cannot surrender to the secular artistes to teach them the way of youth - to be young and restless for all the days of their lives. God said train up a child in the way he should go, and we must take this as a serious responsibility," he said.

Kartel trial for November

Adijah Vybz Kartel Palmer

THE TRIAL of dancehall entertainer Vybz Kartel and the five other men charged jointly with him for the murder of Clive 'Lizard' Williams is to start in the Home Circuit Court on November 18.
Williams was allegedly beaten to death on August 16, 2011, over the disappearance of an illegal gun.
Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, along with fellow entertainer Shawn Campbell, popularly known as Shawn Storm, fashion designer Calvin Haye, André St John, carpenter Shane Williams and Kahira Jones are accused of murdering Williams at Kartel's home in Havendale, St Andrew.
Yesterday, attorney-at-law Michael Lorne, who is representing Campbell, made another bail application for him.
Justice Sarah Thompson James said she saw no change of circumstances to warrant granting him bail.
Attorney-at-law Tom Tavares-Finson, who is representing Kartel, in commenting on the long delay in having a trial and the outstanding issues of disclosure, had asked the prosecution to do the right thing and ask the judge to grant Kartel bail.
Senior Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Jeremy Taylor, in opposing bail, referred to the seriousness of the offence in respect to both Kartel and Campbell.
Taylor said in respect to Tavares-Finson's suggestion, he was not opposing bail for 23-year-old Shane Williams.
Attorney-at-law Tamika Harris, who is representing Williams, asked the judge to be lenient with the amount being offered for bail.
The judge then offered Williams bail in the sum of $500,000 with one to five sureties. He is to report to the Waterford Police Station every day and must be home between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Calvin Haye is on bail and his bail was extended.
Bail application will be made in chambers later this month for the other accused men, including Kartel.
Taylor, in refusing the request from Tavares-Finson for the prosecution to ask the judge to grant Kartel bail, had referred to allegations that from August 2011, after Williams was murdered, attempts were made by Kartel to get the witness to leave the island, and up to now, the witness' passport was not returned.
Taylor also told the court that up to January this year, attempts were allegedly made from behind bars to pay off the witness with $3 million, and the telephone conversation was witnessed by a senior police officer.
Taylor said the Crown was suggesting that entertainment was not the only business for Kartel, but there was some kind of trade or trafficking in weapons and it was out of that Williams lost his life. He said that sections of the house were burnt after the incident, but representatives from the forensic laboratory found what appeared to be human blood in a section of the house.
Kartel is facing another murder charge for which he has been granted bail.

US$1 = J$100! - J$ plunges to lowest value ever

The Sliding Jamaican dollar - record $100.08 to 1USD
THE Jamaican dollar plunged to its lowest value ever yesterday, trading at an average $100.08 to its US counterpart, a development that is in keeping with a recommendation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Last month, the IMF, in its Country Report on Jamaica, said that despite a recent depreciation in the value of the Jamaican dollar, the currency was overvalued and further depreciation was needed.

"The recent nominal exchange rate depreciation has been useful, by reversing part of the overvaluation of the real exchange rate that has emerged in recent years, thus supporting price competitiveness," the IMF said.

"Looking forward, and given the need to address the remaining overvaluation, structural reforms are expected to help in restoring external competitiveness, alongside exchange rate flexibility," the fund added.

Early last month Jamaica signed off on a funding arrangement with the IMF that will see the island receiving near US$2 billion in loans over the next four years from the IMF, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank under an Extended Fund Facility.

In its country report, the IMF said that there may still be a need, at times, for interventions in the foreign exchange market aimed at avoiding disorderly short-run movements. "In this context, the programme contains clear reserve targets to safeguard the adequacy of reserve coverage — a key policy priority under the programme," the Fund said.

Since the end of April this year, the Jamaica dollar had been experiencing slight fluctuations in value in the region of J$99 to US$1. It traded at an average J$99.93 to US$1 on Thursday before losing 15 cents yesterday to cross the symbolic $100 threshold.

Yesterday, the Canadian dollar gained 81 cents to trade at J$97.90, while the British pound traded at J$155.44, up 56 cents.

Jamaica's decision to decimalise its currency took effect on September 8, 1969 and saw new coins and banknotes replacing the pound, which was circulated for decades as a mixture of British currency and local issues and was always equal to the British pound.

At the time of its introduction, the Jamaican dollar was stronger than the US dollar, valued at J$0.77 to US$1.