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'Slow' police probe into boys' death angers clergyman

BY HORACE HINES Observer staff reporter hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, October 08, 2012    

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FALMOUTH, Trelawny — AS the two boys from Zion who drowned in the Martha Brae River two weeks ago were laid to rest yesterday, co-ordinator for the Trelawny Victim Support Unit, Rev Owen Watson criticised the "snail's pace" at which the police are moving to unravel the mystery which lead to their deaths.

Speaking to members of the media following the memorial service for the two boys, Alex Brown, 10, and Javani Brown, 7, at the Falmouth Seventh-day Church, the man of the cloth revealed that an autopsy report indicated that the boys were sodomised before they drowned.

"Swift justice should have been carried out in this context because based on information that both the police and us received, the youngsters did not die by their own accord. Something happened and they were dumped in the river. Therefore I strongly believe, on behalf of the victims, that the police should act even more swiftly at this time to bring those who contributed to their deaths to justice," Watson said.

"Based on information, these youngsters were interfered with, they were violated. And it was out of that sense of violation they were eventually dumped into the river — not dying at the time they were thrown into it — but subsequently drowned. As a result of violation, they ended up there," he said.

Last week, Assistant Commissioner of Police Devon Watkis, commander for the Area One police division, disclosed that a special unit headed by Acting Superintendent of Police Derrick Champagnie, crime officer for the Area One police division, was ordered to probe the high-profile matter.

"We are conducting investigations to determine, following on the autopsy, how and in what circumstances these young persons came to their deaths," ACP Watkis said.

He stated that the police were awaiting results from a forensic laboratory to determine if the boys were sodomised.

"If you will recall, I also indicated that there were other aspects that we think we need to pursue — injuries that were noted and indicated. We also at the time requested swab samples of specific areas of the bodies to facilitate forensic analysis. These have all been forwarded for those analysis to be pursued," Watkis said.

Rev Watson, who during the memorial service, gave tribute on behalf of the Trelawny Victim Support Unit, urged Government not to allow foreign forces to determine the road to morality.

"We have been told not very long ago how Jamaica should respond differently to those who embrace homosexuality and what I am saying is that we should not allow foreign forces to dictate to us the road to morality as a people," the clergyman argued.

There was a strong outpouring of support and love for the two boys during the well-attended service.

Among the mourners were Custos of Trelawny Paul Muschett, Mayor of Falmouth Garth Wilkinson, PNP Councillor for the Martha Brae Division Phillip Service, members of the Hague Primary and Falmouth All School fraternity which the boys attended, among others.

Wilkinson used the opportunity to urge parents to ensure that they send their children to church on Saturdays or Sundays.

"We cannot continue how the children are raised today," Wilkinson noted.

In the meantime, Javani's distraught mother, Pamella, lamented her lost.

"I am hurt. It is boiling in me now. You know you have you last child and him gone, somebody kill him and throw him in the river and nothing about it," she bemoaned.

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