Clarendon murder/suicide rattles politicianMonday, June 21, 2021
CLARENDON, Jamaica — The murder/suicide that rocked the usually quiet community of Rhoden Hall over the last two days has left elected officials rattled.
“Domestic violence has really taken over Jamaica and it shows that we have to try to intervene much earlier,” said Member of Parliament for Clarendon Northern, Dwight Sibblies.
Less than 24 hours after police prevented an angry mob from seriously harming 20-year-old Markland Hayles, who was accused of slashing the throat of his 21-year-old girlfriend Tashika McKay, he reportedly hung himself with an item of his clothing.
After being treated for minor injuries inflicted by an angry mob of more than 100 people, he had been placed alone in a cell, in observance of COVID-19 prevention protocols.
Police theorise he took his life during the two-hour window between 9:00 and 11:00 Monday morning. He was expected to have been charged with McKay’s murder, having confessed to killing her in a caution statement on Sunday.
According to OBSERVER ONLINE sources, Hayles had accused McKay of infidelity and questioned the paternity of the child she was carrying. She was eight months pregnant.
Yesterday, Councillor for the Kellits division, Noel Nembhard, said he was shocked to have learnt of the incident as he knew the young farmer as a “very quiet” person who did not make trouble.
“He works on my farm sometimes. I didn’t even know that he had a girlfriend much more to commit an act like this. This is shocking really shocking,” he said, adding that he also knew the slain woman’s family well.
Meanwhile the MP has reached out to both families, saying he is committed to helping them receive help in coping with the tragedy that has captured the attention of the entire nation over the last two days.
“I am recommending that the families seek counselling and we try and work with them as they go through this rough time,” said the MP. “The government has been doing its best to provide shelters to accommodate victims and numbers are being posted and advertised but we are still having these incidents. Our communities right across Jamaica need to do more. We need the schools, churches, civic centres, and all hands on deck. We need everybody involved to stem domestic violence. More needs to be done, but we really need to have continuous conversation with our young men rather than just pointing finger because we have been pointing fingers for too long and it’s not working.”
An effort needs to be made, he said, to get to the root cause of the problem.
“We need to listen and find out what is frustrating them, and what is their perception of their community and of family and we need to start there,” said Sibblies.
“We need to enter the conversation not with the intention to blame but to say how we can change their perception. My recommendation is that we should all be cautious and try to understand who we get into a relationship with and, most importantly, get out at the first sign of abuse. We can no longer say it will not happen to us,” he stressed.
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