Monthly Archives: June 2012

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CRIMES THAT ROCKED THE NATION- A brutal murder, a savage rape

IT was a lovely, moonlit night.
The stars were shining brightly, the night then appearing to be full of promise, with the refreshing sea breeze blowing ever so gently.

The love-struck young couple decided to sit for a while on the beach — so quiet and inviting. They were frolicking as youngsters do. After all, life was beautiful! The future looked rosy and bright! What else could a couple ask for on a night that seemed so perfect?
But the beauty and serenity of that romantic night was shattered by the unthinkable.
A huge, bearded hulk of a man appeared out of nowhere — a murderer on the prowl and he was out for blood. The frightened teenagers huddled together, fear gripping them, a Circuit Court jury was later told by the survivor.
This was the year 1951. I recall the year because I was then a young teacher at what was then the Crescent College on Duke Street in Kingston. This was the era of the tutorial colleges: St Simon’s College, West India College — all on Upper Duke Street; Excelsior High, first established on North Street; Bodmin College, on Blake Road, and a number of others that are no longer in existence today.
My teenaged schoolmate (name withheld because of court rules) had been at the eight o’clock mass at the Holy Trinity Cathedral on North Street the previous Sunday. It was the last time I would see her alive.
The weekend of the tragedy, the young girl went driving along the Palisadoes Road in Kingston with her teenaged boyfriend, Sydney Garel, a student of St George’s College.
Jamaica then was a place of peace and love. It was not unusual to see couples of any age strolling hand-in-hand in the parks on a moonlit night, or to see young lovers holding hands on their way to the beach, to a matinee, or just to get a hamburger at a snack counter. Life had its bumps and grinds but there was love.
After surprising the young couple, the intruder demanded money. He then attacked young Garel with a knife, stabbing him to death on the spot. He savagely raped the girl before making his escape.
This story made the headlines for days. The police followed several leads at the time but none bore fruit for some time.
Incidentally, the man who was later charged with Garel’s murder and with raping my former schoolmate, had been known to me personally for a number of years. His name was Aston Jolly, otherwise known as ‘Whoppy King’.
Jolly had been living at the time in a small back room on Upper King Street, just above North Street, opposite the then United Dairy Farmers, a business which sold bottled cow’s milk. The company also had a number of ice cream parlours of the type no longer seen in today’s Jamaica.
As a young teacher, I was accustomed to visiting the premises where Jolly lived. He was a handcart man. His handcart could be seen parked regularly on the sidewalk on Upper King Street, opposite the United Dairy Farmers business place. He would be sitting on the side of the cart, one foot or both feet dangling over the side of the cart.
I had three students, all girls, who were residing with relatives on the upper floor of the two-storey building. I was engaged privately by the parents of the girls, who were overseas, to give them private lessons for the London Junior Cambridge Examinations.
So when Aston Jolly, o/c ‘Whoppy King’, was finally arrested and charged in connection with the Palisadoes Road murder and rape, my curiousity was aroused. I visited the Supreme Court after school to listen to two days of evidence. I got there to hear most of the trial judge’s summing up to the jury.
From those days, I was intrigued by the pomp and ceremony exhibited in the courts. I never envisaged at that time that I would have spent most of my professional life in the Supreme Court of Judicature of Jamaica. And how I would have enjoyed it!
Needless to say, before his arrest, it was noticeable that Aston Jolly had trimmed his locks and had removed his long, matted grey beard. A dead giveaway! He was also pointed out at an identification parade by his young female victim. Results from the police ballistic experts also tied Jolly to the murder and rape.
The sensational coverage given to the trial by the media had a ripple effect. The teenaged girl, what with the shame and degradation she suffered at Jolly’s hands, and her life in tatters due to the media frenzy, was forced to leave her beloved country in order to find peace in a foreign land.
For it must be remembered by those old enough to recall such events, that there were no ‘in camera’ trials in existence then.
In the name of justice, an aggrieved person such as that teenaged girl was, would have had to go to court and reveal the whole sordid details of her experience. In full open court! By doing so, she would be thus reliving the anguish, dehumanisation and shame to a public, which seemed to thrive on other people’s misfortunes, like parasitic vines clinging desperately to a favourite plant.
That is said to be the reason many victims in rape and other related sexual cases, fail to make a report to the police and why serial rapists, in particular, continue to prey on the young, the disabled, the elderly and the unsuspecting.
The trauma also led to changes in the way rape cases are tried. Victims now testify ‘in camera’ where the public is excluded and is only admitted inside the courtroom after delivery of the jury’s verdict. And, of course, the media is not allowed to reveal the name/names of the victims, especially if the person/persons are under age.
But that came too late for a girl who could no longer walk the streets of Kingston or anywhere in Jamaica in peace after that trial; or after the funeral was held for young Sydney Garel.
She was hounded morning, noon and night by the media; with people pointing her out and making snide and crude remarks, making certain she heard them. This happened in the streets, at church, everywhere she went. How much more insensitive could we get? What wretched human beings we can be at times!
She was living another nightmare; this one, it seemed, much worse than the first. She took the only way out she thought best. She fled her beloved country.
The fact that Aston Jolly paid the ultimate price — death on the gallows at the St Catherine District Prison — was little comfort to her and the bereaved families. Hopefully, time has since dulled the pain.
Sybil Hibbert is a veteran journalist and retired court-reporting specialist. She is also the wife of retired ACP Isadore Hibbert. Send your comments to [email protected]

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More than a dozen soldiers and police officers are in trouble for eating food reserved for President Robert Mugabe during his visit to Manicaland province last week.
The food was meant for Mugabe and close members of his entourage but the security details consumed it after hunger struck.

Mugabe was in Manicaland last Friday to officially open the Chinese-owned Golden Peacock Hotel in Mutare. The Chinese are involved in massive diamond mining ventures with Zimbabwe government in the nearby Chiadzwa area. Sources at Mutare Central Police Station said eight police officers and seven soldiers were arrested.

The sources, who cannot be named because they are not authorised to speak on behalf of the police, said the soldiers and police officers had been assigned to guard the presidential helicopter but ended up helping themselves to meals in the aircraft.

The helicopter had been left at an airstrip near Mutare Teachers’ College, which is a stone’s throw from the newly-built Chinese hotel. “They devoured the meals and the offence was only discovered when pilots to the presidential helicopter returned,” said the source.

“Upon being asked by the pilots where the food had gone, one of the soldiers spilled the beans and implicated 14 others,” said a source. Another insider said the soldiers were held in police custody for two nights from last Friday and released on Sunday.

The policemen implicated in the food case were freed on Monday although internal disciplinary measures could follow. Acting Manicaland provincial police spokesperson Enock Chishiri said the matter was out of his hands and could only be handled by his superiors in Harare.

“I cannot comment on that one. Speak to Chief Superintendent Andrew Phiri,” said Chishiri. Phiri was not answering his phone when the Daily News tried to get a comment yesterday.

There have been numerous reports of soldiers and policemen fainting on national events due to hunger and fatigue, while army chiefs have routinely complained of food scarcity at barracks.

Daily News




BELLEFONTE, Pa. (CBS/AP) —The jury in Jerry Sandusky’s child sex abuse trial has found him “guilty” on 45 counts and “not guilty” on three counts. His bail has been revoked and he was handcuffed and sent to the Center County Correctional Facility.

NOW LIVE: Eyewitness News With Verdict Results

The 68-year-old former Penn State assistant football coach fought 48 counts that accused him of abusing 10 boys over 15 years.

Word of a verdict broke at about 9:30 p.m. and a court official alerted the media it would be returned at about 9:50 p.m. The courtroom was closed by the time the jury and attorneys assembled for the verdict, and no one was be allowed to leave until court until it was adjourned, the judge said in a court order earlier in the week. The verdict was read count by count. Media was barred from transmitting any results of the verdict until adjournment, with the judge promising sanctions for any reporter or media organization violating his order.

After learning about the verdict, Pennsylvania Governor reacted in a statement saying, ““First, I want to thank the jury for their willingness to serve on such a difficult case,’’ Corbett said. “I also want to commend the multiple victims in this case who had the courage to come forward and testify in court, confronting Sandusky, and proving beyond a reasonable doubt that he is guilty of these reprehensible crimes,’’ Corbett said.

Earlier in the evening, Sandusky’s lawyer said he would be shocked and “die of a heart attack” if the former Penn State assistant football coach were acquitted on all counts in his child sex abuse trial.

The candid remarks by Joe Amendola lasted about 15 minutes inside the courtroom and opened a wide window into Sandusky’s state of mind as he and his wife, Dottie, waited for a verdict.

Jurors began deliberating the case Thursday and talked all day Friday.

Amendola said the Sanduskys were spending a lot of time praying. He described the atmosphere at their home as like a funeral.

The couple was “crushed” Thursday when lawyers for one of their sons, Matt Sandusky, said the 33-year-old had been prepared to testify on behalf of prosecutors, Amendola said. Matt Sandusky said his father abused him, his attorneys said.

Amendola said he wasn’t surprised by another man, Travis Weaver, who claimed during an NBC interview Thursday that he was abused by Sandusky more than 100 times in the early 1990s, or by any others who might come forward.

“Money does a lot of bad things to people,” he said.

As for Sandusky and his family, Amendola said he has given them an objective appraisal of what they could expect.

“I’ve used the best example I could use: climbing Mount Everest from the bottom of the mountain,” he said. “It’s a daunting, daunting case.”

He also said that Sandusky had his wife talk to a criminal defense lawyer a couple months ago “just to be careful.”

Amendola’s interview ended when he was summoned into the chambers of Judge John Cleland, who presided over the two-week trial. Cleland has issued a gag order barring lawyers from discussing the case.

The verdict will impact not only Sandusky and the eight young men who accused him of molestation, but a range of civil and criminal probes of the scandal that shamed the university and brought down coach Joe Paterno.

The jury’s apparent focus on the charges involving an unknown boy called Victim 2 in court papers renewed attention on the separate criminal case against two former school officials.

Tim Curley, who temporarily stepped down as athletic director, and now-retired vice president Gary Schultz are charged with lying to a grand jury about what they knew of the 2001 assault that then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary said he witnessed.

Jurors took copious notes and appeared to pay close attention Friday as McQueary’s two-hour testimony was read back to them. McQueary, who said he walked in on the assault, testified that he did not see penetration, but he did see a boy pressed up against a wall in the football team shower with Sandusky behind him.

Jurors also reheard the testimony of a McQueary family friend, Dr. Jonathan Dranov, who said that McQueary told him a different version of the story that didn’t include sexual contact.

McQueary, however, also testified that he hadn’t told Dranov everything that he saw.

The jury also sought details from the judge on charges connected to a boy known in court records as Victim 8. Cleland told the jurors in a brief courtroom meeting that they must be satisfied that there is other evidence that abuse occurred, not just statements from a janitor who relayed a co-worker’s account.

On Friday, a judge in Harrisburg scheduled a July 11 status conference with lawyers for Curley and Schultz, who are also charged with failing to properly report suspected child abuse to authorities. They are fighting the charges and await trial.

Philadelphia attorney Fortunato Perri Jr., who has been following the Sandusky trial, said an acquittal of Sandusky on the counts involving Victim 2 could provide a road map for the defense of Curley and Schultz.

“You’ve now had a jury kind of preview your case with respect to the credibility of McQueary,” Perri said. “Who knows if the next jury would believe him or not believe him? But you’ve got to feel pretty good if you’re representing those two guys, and a jury has taken a good long look at McQueary’s testimony and decided something didn’t smell right about it.”

Bruce Antkowiak, a former federal prosecutor and defense attorney who now teaches law at St. Vincent College near Latrobe, said the Sandusky jury’s verdict on the charges involving Victim 2 is legally irrelevant to Curley and Schultz.

That’s because, Antkowiak said, they are charged with violating a legal duty to properly report the allegation that Sandusky abused the boy — regardless of whether it was later proven.

“The underlying truth of what was going on in that shower doesn’t affect their underlying obligation to report the initial allegation,” Antkowiak said.

Defense lawyers for Curley and Schultz did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

Sandusky has repeatedly denied the allegations against him. The defense portrayed him as the hapless victim of a conspiracy to convict him of heinous crimes. They explain the 48 charges against him as the result of an investigatory team out for blood and accusers who willingly played along in hopes of securing a big payday.

Even if he’s acquitted, Sandusky could face additional criminal charges involving accusers who came forward after his November arrest.

The attorney general’s office has said repeatedly that it has an “active and ongoing” investigation of Sandusky, while federal prosecutors in Harrisburg issued a wide-ranging subpoena in February for university computer records and other information.

Civil lawsuits also are likely against Sandusky, his Second Mile charity and Penn State.

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