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Patrick Bailey: My back is broad; report whatever you want

Relatives of slain man continue to dispute media, police accounts

BY KIMONE FRANCIS
Staff reporter
francisk@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Attorney -at-law Patrick Bailey has declined to respond to allegations being made against him by relatives of a man who was killed at his (Bailey's) house in the upper St Andrew community of Barbican last year.

The body of 51-year-old Paul Jermaine Junior was found with multiple stab wounds and a single gunshot wound to the head on the morning of September 30 in the living room of Bailey's house.

Police reported that Bailey stumbled upon the body about 4:30 am. A knife, believed to have been the one used to stab Junior, was reportedly found beside the body. The deceased was said to be the caretaker of the premises, something his family has been denying. The police said that there were no signs of forced entry and immediately ruled Bailey out as a suspect, saying that he was asleep when the killing occurred.

“Anything dem seh, mek dem seh it. I have no answer; just publish whatever they say. My back is broad. I have no comments, no comments, no comments! Just simply, you report whatever you want to,” Bailey told the Jamaica Observer when contacted on Thursday.

Relatives who visited the newspaper's head office on Thursday, unhappy with media reports which constantly identified the deceased as Bailey's “caretaker”, said they wanted to set the record straight.

“He was not a handyman; him just live there. Is two house in the yard. Him live at the back and Mr Bailey at the front, but him just helpful, so maybe that's why dem call him that,” a spokesman for the relatives, who asked not to be named, told the Sunday Observer.

The relative said Bailey and Junior became close after the attorney represented Junior in a court matter more than 20 years ago.

The relative explained that Junior was shot multiple times by the police in Hope Pastures, St Andrew, after they received a report that a robbery had occurred in the area. The police believed he had matched the description given in the report. The relative said a lawsuit was filed, which Junior won.

The relative said that the two developed a friendship and noted that Junior, who had become a United States citizen through marriage some years later, would occasionally visit Jamaica then return to the US.

The relative said that since taking initial statements from the family in October, the police have made no contact with them. He also complained that nothing further has been said to the family about the case and that what is known to them is what is carried in the media.

“We don't hear nothing. Last time was when it happen and we nuh go back to them (police) after,” the relative said.

Last week Assistant Commissioner of Police Ealan Powell told journalists at a Jamaica Constabulary Force press briefing that investigations into the murder are ongoing and insisted that the police would not cover up anything.

“We have not been speaking publicly about it like we haven't been speaking publicly about many other murders. The fact is that we are quietly doing our work and we can assure Jamaica that nothing will be hidden in this case,” Powell said. “We have not hidden anything in any other case and we're not going to be hiding anything in this case. We will stay above the fray. We're going to do our job as best as we can and the chips will fall where they may.”

There has been public outcry over how the case was being handled and how very little information was available on it.

Bailey had reportedly exhibited signs of being unwell after the murder. His doctor and client Jephthah Ford instructed that he should be confined to bed and told the police that he was not fit to give a statement at the time. The statement came approximately two weeks later.

A little over eight months later, the police have declined to say whether or not there is a suspect in custody.

“I am not going into the matter of a suspect. All I will say is that we are investigating… But I can assure you that the investigation is going at a pace. I had a discussion on that matter just this morning (last Tuesday); we had a review last week. We're following it up day by day because we know that Jamaica has an interest in the matter,” Powell said.