Monday 18 November, 2019

Police score arrest in Bob Hathaway murder case

Assistant Commissioner of Police with Responsibility for Crime and Intelligence Management, Wayne Charlery

Assistant Commissioner of Police with Responsibility for Crime and Intelligence Management, Wayne Charlery

Police are touting as a victory the fact that after 10 months they were able to arrest and charge a 22-year-old woman with the murder of British national John Robert 'Bob' Hathaway.

A longtime resident of Saint Lucia, Hathaway was a well-known figure in his adopted country. His murder was the first committed for the year and one that seemed to have grown cold as the months went by.

Police have in their custody Elizabeth Janelle Volney, 22, of Ti Morne, Union, arrested last Friday and charged on Saturday, taken to court Monday, November 4, 2019, remanded at the Bordelais Correctional Facility that same day and expected back in court Wednesday, November 13, 2019.

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Wayne Charlery, in charge of crime and intelligence management in the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force, said Monday that while many thought the case had grown cold, police were working assiduously to solve it.

He said this is the situation with several cases the public may believe are cold cases due to the passage of time or a belief that police are no longer interested and are not giving such cases the attention they give to new and emerging cases.

Hathaway was found dead at his home in Piat, Grande Riviere, Gros Islet by a neighbour in January of this year. Reports were that he was covered in blood.

Hathaway’s murder saw the British media directing their lens on Saint Lucia in an attempt to find out the cause of his death and other information regarding the incident.

It also saw National Security Minister Hermangild Francis speaking of having British police working alongside local police in solving the mystery surrounding Hathaway’s death. Francis went on to say that local police may learn a thing or two from the British officers.

Ernest Hilaire, a former Saint Lucia High Commissioner in London and now Castries South parliamentary representative, said one week after Hathaway’s murder that the tragedy might revive British interest in Saint Lucia’s justice system.

Charlery explained that the length of time taken to investigate the case and bring it to its present conclusion took intelligence support, forensic/technical support and community support, all of which he underscored as imperatives needed in crime fighting.

He had much praise for the public and listed community support as a key factor for the police efforts at fighting crime. He called on the public to continue using the crime hotline number, saying it is a fantastic and invaluable tool for the police in countering criminal acts.

The breakthrough in the Hathaway case is not the only one where police arrested and charged someone after a long time.

The double murder in December 2017 of Trinidadian Richie Rambass and Venezuelan Vincente Jose Mendoza Pacheco took a whole year before someone was arrested and charged for the murders. Saint Lucian Fernil Sextius is on remand at the Bordelais Correctional facility awaiting his day in court in that matter.

Another case that appears to have gone cold due to silence on the part of the police is that of Kimberley de Leon who was murdered at her home at Morne Fortune one year ago. Her family members are keeping her memories alive by holding vigils and calling on the police to keep them updated on the progress of the case.

Charlery says police had done their due diligence on the case and will do what it takes to get the perpetrator/s so that justice can prevail. The case file is in the hands of the Director of Public Prosecution, Daarsrean Green.

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