DPP calls for unity in addressing social ills
MANDEVILLE, Manchester – Against the backdrop of last week’s sentencing of Richard Brown, who confessed to kidnapping and killing politician Phillip Paulwell’s 10-month-old daughter and her mother, 27-year-old Toshyna Patterson, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewelyn is calling for a bipartisan approach to addressing social ills.
“In a very recent high-profile matter, which involved the murder of a woman and her baby, I saw one of the accused who pleaded guilty to murder and kidnapping cry in court. He cried in the dock and on one of the few occasions I could see on his face regret and remorse and after he was sentenced to 30 years he asked his lawyer to apologise to the nation and apologise to the family of the deceased,” Llewellyn said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the national launch of the Beliefs, Values and Attitudes (BVA) initiative at the Cecil Charlton Park in Mandeville on Tuesday, Llewellyn used the case as an example of being led astray by the wrong crowd.
“My father of blessed memory always had a saying ‘sorry cyaah buy lorry’, but I was still struck by the fact that here was a young man. He was not the actual shooter, but he found himself in the bad company where he was the driver who participated in the kidnapping and carrying these tragic figures in the motor car. He was the driver to their death,” she said.
“Bad company was what has caused him to end up with 30 years in prison and if he is lucky in 20 years he will be eligible for parole,” added Llewellyn.
She commended Manchester Custos Garfield Green for expanding the BVA, which is aimed at facilitating attitudinal change and social revitalisation.
“It is so important that we recognise that our families, our communities, our church, our schools have to get back to being the beacons of excellence, discipline, positivity, good work ethic, generosity of spirit, self-discipline, honesty, humility and the ability to show and exude grace under fire, so that if it is that people chuck badness at you, because of your values and attitudes you can walk away,” she said.
The DPP told her audience, which consisted of the two Manchester Members of Parliament Mikael Phillips (North West, People’s National Party) and Audley Shaw (North East, Jamaica Labour Party) as well as custodies, that there should be a bipartisan approach for the BVA nationally.
“I am going to be bold and I am going to make a call since we have political representatives here [from] both sides on the political divide. Why don’t both political parties embrace this values and attitudes programme? I am going to give a charge of the political parties here to say that you should all, whether you are orange or green, have the belief to embrace the positive values and attitudes, so that you can engage, give value to your constituents and inspire your people not only in Manchester, but let it have a ripple effect all over Jamaica,” said Llewelyn.
Although a similar initiative launched nationally in 1994 by then Prime Minister PJ Patterson suffered due to partisan politics, Llewellyn called for “no one-upmanship” among political leaders in pushing the initiative.
“… Because what I sense here, and it is so unfortunate, that sometimes politicians are broad-brushed, but they are human beings and what I sense is that they all want the same thing in terms of what is good for Jamaica, and this is a good programme for Jamaica,” she said.
“I would ask you all to please have a consensus on this and it would be so wonderful if not only all the custodees, but all the Members of Parliament on both sides of the political divide just decide that this is one programme that all of us can join hands with. No one-upmanship, no trying to show who is better than the other, but just that it is good for Jamaica, land we love,” added Llewellyn.