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A fourth mob killing

Monday, October 15, 2012    

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ANOTHER Jamaican lost his life in a mob killing yesterday, the fourth such incident in recent weeks.

The man, who has been identified as Dwight Lester, a 29-year-old mason of Windsor Castle in Portland, was reportedly killed by residents in Daytona, Portmore, St Catherine, after he was allegedly caught breaking into premises in the community about 3:00 am.

The injured man was taken to hospital by police who were called to the scene.

Lester is the second man in less than week to have suffered at the hands of vigilante justice. Just five days earlier, an angry mob mauled and chopped 23-year-old Oral Smith, also called 'Duppy Eye', to death in Savannah Cross, Clarendon.

The residents set upon Smith after he reportedly beat a member of the community to death when his demand for $100 was not met.

Those two incidents follow the much-publicised mob killing of 43-year-old Donovan Hazley and the injuring of his 18-year-old daughter on September 23, and the killing of a teacher five days later along Old Harbour Road in St Catherine.

Hazley and his daughter were attacked by a mob who fire-bombed their home in Zion, Trelawny, after the deaths of two boys from their community, whose decomposing bodies were fished from the Martha Brae River days before the incident.

Hazley was accused of hiding someone whom the residents alleged might have had a hand in the boys' deaths.

The residents claimed that the boys were sodomised, even as a post-mortem later showed that they had drowned.

However, five men were taken into custody and four of them were later charged in connection with Hazley's death.

The teacher, 41-year-old Michael Melbourne, head of the Computer Science Department at Old Harbour High School, was chased, beaten and stabbed to death by an angry mob after a vehicle which he was driving struck down four persons along Old Harbour Road.

It was reported that the four persons were assisting a man who was the victim of a hit-and-run when they themselves were hit by Melbourne's car.

Last month, some of the country's civic groups strongly condemned the brutal acts after Hazley's death.

The groups, the International Women's Forum, the Jamaica Civil Society Coalition, Jamaicans For Justice, and the Women's Leadership Initiative, in a joint press statement, described the killings as senseless and unjustifiable.

"These are criminal acts of murder and assault. They bear no resemblance to justice and have no place in a civilised society," they said.

The groups had also called on the nation's leaders to add their voices to this condemnation and insist that all Jamaicans must support the rule of law as the way to a better, more just, future.

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