Regional

Parent of slain 9-y-o boy blames herself for son’s death

A Mother's Regret

BY HORACE HINES Observer West reporter hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, May 29, 2014    

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PLANTATION HEIGHTS, St James

SIMONE Foster, 27, the distressed mother of nine-year-old Romaine Robinson, also called 'Star Boy', who was viciously murdered in this normally quiet community last week, is blaming herself for her son's death, having left him to live with her boyfriend in Linstead, St Catherine.

"Mi regret seh mi leave because if mi never leave, mi son wouldn't die. Mi regret it because if I was here I could a protect him. Mi blame myself 100 per cent," said the mother who was a picture of grief yesterday.

"When I am here he doesn't leave out the yard because mi have him under strict rule. When him come from school in the evenings mi don't make him go nowhere. Mi have him under strict rule. Mi seh, Romaine, stay in the yard, mi don't want him walk 'bout because you see every minute them beat him up."

Reports from the Cambridge Police are that about 6:22 am, on Thursday, May 22, Romaine's body was found tied up in bushes with stab wounds to the neck.

Subsequently, a 14-year-old member of the community, who is said to be a close friend of the deceased, was arrested and charged with the gruesome murder, after he reportedly confessed to the crime.

The murder weapon was allegedly discovered at his grandmother's home.

According to Senior Superintendent in charge of the St James police division, Egbert Parkins, investigation led to the arrest of the juvenile, who "gave an account of what transpired."

SSP Parkins, who offered condolences to the family of the deceased, however, expressed relief at an early breakthrough in the case.

Meanwhile, when the Jamaica Observer West visited the area yesterday, Foster's mother, Gwendolyn Todd-Foster, said that her grandson who was left in her care, occasionally slept at the home of 'Nyah', an elderly man who lives close by.

She reiterated that when she went to look for her grandson at a nearby shop late on the evening of Wednesday, May 21, and did not see him, she was not perturbed as she thought he was at the home of 'Nyah,' who customarily cooks and shares meals with Romaine.

"Mi believe he was at Nyah because Nyah cook for both of them and when him ready him sleep over Nyah. So through mi seh him gone over Nyah, mi never worry myself because mi never know seh any harm would come to him," the grief-stricken grandmother explained.

She said Romaine, a very helpful youth around the village, who could be relied on to do chores for almost everyone, had spent most of his last day alive at a shop operated by his friend,

called 'Fatty'.

"Romaine is a youth like this, anybody at all can send him out. If mi even send him out -- you come call him and send him- instead him go where I send him, him gone fi you. A just so him stay. Romaine a fi everybody. Romaine nuh trouble people, "Todd-Foster stated.

'Fatty' recounted that last week Wednesday it was raining cats and dogs for the entire day and when the heavy showers subsided, 'Star Boy' left with the intention to return for his dinner.

But, he never returned.

She is of the view that the boy was attacked shortly after he left the shop.

"Everybody shock fi hear that happen because nobody nah look fi that fi happen. An no mix-up boy, fi trouble people. Nobody never know seh him would a dead in that short space of time. The whole a wi deh yah so, the whole a wi a one," she rued.

The shopkeeper, who described Romaine as a jovial and helpful youth, said when he did not return for his dinner that night she did not have the least thought that his life was in danger.

Other members of the small farming community described Romaine as a very jovial person, who will be sadly missed.

"A wi little joker pon the street. A one nice little boy and wi gonna miss him," said Paulette Collins, who has been living in Plantation Heights for many years.

She was quick to note, however, that community members were also fond of the accused killer.

"Everybody loved the other youth same way. Nobody expected that from him. A one kind little boy. Him father always leave money for him and sometimes when him have money he would ask Romaine "you hungry and if Romaine don't answer he would laugh and seh a no joke mi going buy you bag juice and biscuit," she recounted.

Meanwhile, Romaine's mother who has returned to the community to make arrangements for her son's funeral, is of the view that his killing stemmed from the theft of an expensive Smartphone.

She said since his untimely death, she has been having sleepless nights.

"Mi sad. At nights when mi come in mi looking for him to call mi. Night time mi can't sleep. When mi was here in January and stand up in front the mirror dancing, he laughed and seh "Mummy you can't dance and seh mummy mek mi show you how to do One Drop". Mi miss Romaine really, really bad, because mi never know seh them would kill mi baby for nothing at all," said the distraught mother.

"Mi miss him smile, mi miss him joke, mi miss everything. Him even tell mi sey mummy when mi get big mi ago buy you a car and a house. Mi ask him what he wanted to be when he gets big he said he would be a doctor or a soldier," as she broke down in tears.

In the meantime, the accused killer was scheduled to appear in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court yesterday to answer to a charge of murder.

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