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Cop charged with murder in Jhaneel Goulbourne case

Tuesday, February 17, 2009    

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POLICE Constable Rushon Hamilton was Saturday charged with murder in the case of kidnapped 14-year-old Jhaneel Goulbourne, based on a ruling by the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, which had reviewed a case file containing allegations against the cop.

Hamilton has been locked behind bars since November last year, days after the teenager was kidnapped by armed men at her gate at Harbour View in East Kingston. The child had told officers at the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) that Hamilton had carnally abused her in the barrack room of the Elletson Road Police Station, the headquarters of the Kingston East Police Division.

Hamilton was held and charged with carnal abuse, indecent assault and attempting to pervert the course of justice, after police received reports that he attempted to coerce the child to change her original statement.

Another policeman, Constable Michael McDonald, and a woman, Rachel Roberts, who police said is Hamilton's spouse, were arrested and charged last Wednesday in connection with Jhaneel's disappearance.

So far there has been no trace of the child's body despite several searches in Hamilton's home parish of St Mary and other sections of the island, including sections of the Palisadoes Strip and the Port Royal main road in Kingston.

Last week, Deputy Commissioner Mark Shields said investigators were hoping to make a significant breakthrough in the case and provide closure for Jhaneel's worried relatives.

"We are hoping to make significant progress," Shields said guardedly.

He steered clear of allegations by Jhaneel's relatives that concrete weights were tied to her body before it was dumped at sea.

"We cannot confirm that," Shields said.

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