8-y-o boy killed as domestic dispute takes deadly turn

Observer staff reporter

Saturday, January 25, 2020

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TAMAR Lewis thinks she might have escaped death as she was not at home when her ex-boyfriend allegedly broke into her house and damaged her appliances, but now she is dealing with the pain of losing her eight-year-old son.

Lewis's ordeal began Monday morning when her boyfriend, whom she said she met eight months ago and began sharing a home with in Seaview Gardens, St Andrew since around that time, attempted to strangle her while she was on her way to work.

“The rain did a fall Monday morning. Mi wait until the rain ease down, mi come out. Him a walk behind me with the umbrella. Mi seh, 'Phil, I don't need no umbrella'. [He said], 'When yuh sick a me a go inna problem'. Mi seh, 'Yuh nah inna nuh problem', and him keep on a walk me down same way. Then afterwards mi just see him fling him hand round mi… and a so mi bite him and him let me go,” Lewis explained.

She said, too, that her ex-lover, whom she alleges abducted her son and killed him, had accused her of being promiscuous.

On Thursday, the 39-year-old mother of now three children told the Jamaica Observer that with the uptick in domestic abuse since the start of the year, she decided to end the relationship.

“Man a kill woman now, so from him [try] strangle mi, mi seh a it dat,” she said, adding that they had begun arguing last week Thursday after she confronted him about gambling.

While she was at work on Monday, she said her boyfriend had called her repeatedly. However, she said she did not return his calls.

When she arrived home Monday evening, she said she packed all his clothing, placed them outside the house and changed the lock.

“I never sleep there because mi nuh trust him,” the mother said, adding that on Tuesday his relatives contacted her, asking for him.

During the phone conversation, she said she was told that he had spent eight years in a United Kingdom prison for allegedly attempting to kill his girlfriend and children before being deported to Jamaica.

Noting that she was not privy to that information prior to Tuesday, she said his relative suggested she take another route home because they were concerned that he might harm her.

Lewis said shortly after, her landlord also contacted her.

“The landlord call mi and ask mi if mi can come home early, because mi boyfriend broke into the house,” she said.

When she arrived at the premises, she said her television set, refrigerator and fan had been destroyed, and she saw a knife on her bed.

Moments later, Lewis said her ex-boyfriend went to an address on Spanish Town Road, also in St Andrew, where her son Galen Buchanan lived with his father and other relatives. He said her ex-boyfriend took the child out for ice-cream.

Galen never returned home.

He was subsequently reported missing at Hunts Bay Police Station. According to Lewis, she, too, reported him missing at Seaview Gardens Police Station while filing a report about the damage that had been done to her appliances.

“If mi did go home Tuesday mi woulda be a dead person,” Lewis told the Observer on Thursday.

Less than an hour later, the mother, who was among placard-bearing relatives and neighbours staging a demonstration on Spanish Town Road earlier that morning protesting the third-grade Seaview Gardens Primary School student's abduction, was summoned by the police.

The police had found the body of a little boy, with the hands tied behind it, in the harbour in the vicinity of Royal Palm, Bournemouth Gardens in Kingston 2 about 3:15 pm.

“When dem call mi, a mi cousin bring mi out there. When they (police) explained to me what him have on, mi say, 'Yes, is my baby'. From there so mi nuh know nothing much, mi pass out,” she lamented.

When the Observer spoke with the distraught mother inside the Seaview Gardens Primary School principal's office yesterday, she claimed her ex-boyfriend had killed her child on Tuesday.

She said she had last seen Galen Monday evening and described him as a caring boy.

“He was always asking, 'Mommy, you alright? You sure?' And mi say, 'Yes, baby'. He was always loving towards me, and if he was playing games, he would show me and say, 'A dah game deh me a play' or whatever. A so him stay,” she recalled.

Minutes before the Observer spoke with her yesterday, the ex-boyfriend, whom she has been pleading with to return her son since his disappearance Tuesday night, offered money towards his burial.

When the Observer visited Galen's home where he would watch children play in the lane from behind the zinc perimeter fence, his uncle's wife, Sharon Smith, described him as a brilliant and well-mannered child.

“When him a baby... when him mother couldn't get him to sleep, him sleep on my bed. It is so hard. Him come tek di little boy. No matter what you and the mother have, you work out that, you understand weh mi a say? That little boy don't deserve that, him not even know weh him dead fah,” Smith continued.

“…Just from school to home, not even out a road. If the likkle pickney dem a romp, him climb up and watch because him know him can't go out there. His father discipline him, him is not a pickney weh yuh see him out a road a run up and dung and something, no. Either him book or the Internet, 'cause him brilliant like that,” she said.

In the meantime, Lewis's ex-boyfriend, who goes by the names Phillip Williams, Phillip Rose, Rochester Rose, and Ochester Rose, according to the police, is now being asked to report to the police immediately.

He is known to frequent Kingston East and the Roehampton area of St Andrew, the police said, while appealing to anyone who knows his whereabouts to contact them.

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