Jamaica: Obeah rumours led man to stab JP 16 times

(JAMAICA OBSERVER) – A senior citizen who stabbed a justice of the peace 16 times over rumours that she had used “obeah” to kill his relative has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Everton Thompson, 64, of Arcadia, who had previously pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding, was last Friday sentenced, with a recommendation for psychiatric treatment, in the St Thomas Home Circuit Court by Justice Carol Lawrence-Beswick.

The 61-year-old complainant was attacked by Thompson outside her home in Arcadia on July 15.

The court heard that the complainant was at her gate, sweeping, about 8:00 am when Thompson walked up and greeted her with, “Good morning”, before stabbing her with a sharp object.

The injured woman was rushed to the hospital where she was admitted and remained for two months.

On Friday, the teary-eyed complainant, with the help of the prosecutor, told the court that she is still in pain and that her left hand is practically useless.

She also stated that she is still afraid and has problems breathing as well as sleeping at night.

The JP said she was saddened by the turn of events that have also left her weak and emotionally damaged.

Thompson, in his response, through his lawyer Horace Grey, said he was very sorry for what he had done and that the complainant has no reason to fear him.

Grey, in his mitigation plea, told the court that his client acted ill-advisedly, based on rumours, and had been determined to avenge his relative’s death.

However, he said Thompson is now remorseful and has written a letter of apology to the complainant.

Grey also told the court that his client was desirous of compensating the complainant for her prolonged injuries, but was unable to do so presently.

He said Thompson, while in custody, used his time to pen several songs, which he plans to record, publish and perform. He said, too, that his client anticipates that some of the songs will become hits, and “that the proceeds will go toward the complainant”.

Justice Lawrence-Beswick, before handing down the sentence, said she has to consider the seriousness of the complainant’s injuries, that Thompson is not in a position to help her in her distress, and is not likely to be able to do so any time soon as his plan pertaining to the songs was not concrete.

She also took note of Thompson’s age and guilty plea, which resulted in his sentence being reduced to 12 years from between 15 and 20 years.

Thompson was also warned that on completion of his sentence he should not return to the Arcadia community.

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