Monday, September 14, 2009

Jamaican Police Claim Murder Of British Consul, John Terry, Was Not Homophobic

Jamaican police are claiming that the recent murder of British consul, John Terry (pictured), was not homophobic. Yeah, right. Assistant commissioner Les Green, the head of serious and organized crime, actually plays down reports of high homophobic murder rates in Jamaica, saying that although attacks happen, few end in death. How comforting! UK Pink News reports, "Gay sex between two men can carry a ten-year jail sentence or hard labour in Jamaica. Sex between two women is currently legal but many lesbians face persecution". I'm not about to travel there anytime soon.

More from UK Pink News:
The murder of a British honorary consul in Jamaica was unlikely to be a homophobic attack, local police have said. John Terry, 65, was found at his home last Thursday with severe head injuries and a cord and piece of clothing around his neck. He is thought to have been beaten around the head and upper body with a lamp. Post-mortem examination results showed he died of strangulation.

A note found on the bed called him a "batty man" – a homophobic term of abuse. It added: "This is what will happen to ALL gays" and was signed "Gay-Man". Despite the handwritten note, police believe the murder may have been the result of an argument between Terry and someone he knew. There were no signs of a break-in at the property and neighbours said they had seen him with a young black man in the days leading up to his murder.

Terry's body was discovered on Wednesday afternoon after a neighbour raised concerns that a light had been left on all night. There was no sign of forced entry to the property. He was the British honorary consul to the Montenegro Bay area and had worked for the past 12 years helping tourists who had gotten into difficulties. Read full article here.

Jamaican police issue image of 'person of interest'

UK Telegraph reports:

On Friday, police released a e-fit picture of a man they described only as a "person of interest" in the investigation. He was described as being of slim build with bleached skin and in his early 20s. Police say it hinges on a handwritten message found beside the body. A detective involved in the investigation told The Sunday Telegraph that the note described Mr Terry as a "batty man" – derogatory Jamaican slang for a homosexual. In addition, the letter was signed "A batty man". While Mr Terry may have been a victim of Jamaica's aggressively homophobic culture, police sources – perhaps mindful of the damaging effect on a tourism industry already suffering from the island's high level of violent crime - are now playing down that possibility.

The son of a retired RAF officer and RAF nurse, Mr Terry was born in New Zealand, and educated in Pakistan and England. He moved to Jamaica in 1967 and had been honorary consul for 13 years. Friends said he was part of a group of well-heeled older white men on the island who liked to have young black boyfriends. A former coffee grower, he had been general manager of Round Hill, arguably Jamaica's smartest resort, where Ralph Lauren has a home, and stars such as Sir Paul McCartney and Harrison Ford regularly spend their holidays. But friends say he fell into financial difficulties after being ousted by the owners in the early 1990s, prompting Mr Terry to move into a modest house in an insalubrious neighbourhood. Read full article here.