No forgiveness
Donna-Lee's relatives, friends blame media report for dwindling number of protesters
A small number of relatives and friends of Donna-Lee Donaldson protesting outside the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on Thursday. (Photo: Jason Cross)

The group of relatives, friends and sympathisers of social media influencer Donna-Lee Donaldson who stood outside the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on Thursday was not as large as previous gatherings that asked pointed questions about her disappearance. However, they were just a vociferous in their protest of what police have now said is her murder, and angrily denounced a media report that they had forgiven her killer or killers.

They had turned up outside the courthouse in Half-Way-Tree in anticipation that Donaldson's police boyfriend, Constable Noel Maitland, who has been charged with murder in the case, would have made his first appearance before a judge. However, it was revealed in court that he was officially scheduled to appear today August 12, 2022.

"A media house a damage wi thing. From dem send out this forgiveness thing it has been hampering our protest. We are not ready to forgive anybody," Donaldson's uncle, Neil Lugg, told the Jamaica Observer outside the court.

"I don't know how the newspaper get that. When we reached out to the people who should have been here dem seh dem never know wi still a March because wi forgive the killer. My mother said God will forgive anybody for anything dem do. My sister even went on to say she don't live and hold grudge in her heart. Nobody said anything to indicate that we a go forgive. How wi fi forgive man weh kill mi niece and we not even find mi niece body yet?" Lugg said.

"We are here in shock, pain and distress, so how we a go forgive? We would be stupid. We are calling on all Jamaicans, whether you are a visitor who is here, to give us support. We nah stop pressure," he added.

Donaldson's aunt, "Bibi", was blunt. "Even if God will forgive, we will never forgive who is involved in my niece's killing," she said.

She corroborated Lugg's claim that since the media report about forgiveness, they lost a lot of their supporters.

"Because of that, all of them stop. We need everybody fi come back out with us because justice must be served and will be served," she said.

Meanwhile, inside the courtroom, Maitland's attorney Christopher Townsend said, "It is widely rumoured that Mr Noel Maitland should be on the list today. We have made checks and he is not here. The police say they don't know when it is he is coming. I just want the court to know that we were here, just in case the matter is brought up in our absence."

However, the clerk of court responded, "I don't know how the media had it for today when the police officers intend to put the matter before the court Friday. The matter will not be heard today."

Donaldson was last seen on July 11 at an apartment at Chelsea Manor in New Kingston, St Andrew. The apartment is believed to be occupied by Maitland.

Jason Cross

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