Crime of passion gets Jamaica song writer life in prison

(Jamaica Observer) A 24-year-old song writer of a Waltham Park Kingston address has been sentenced to life imprisonment at hard labour over what has been described as “a crime of passion”.

Gavin Clarke will have to serve 40 years of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole.

Clarke was convicted last week in the Home Circuit Court for the 2009 murder of Orlando Hawthorne, a final-year student of the Portmore Community College in St Catherine.

The incident took place at the Waltham Park Road home of a woman who has a child for both men. At the time of the incident, she was reportedly pregnant with Hawthorne’s child.

Clarke had reportedly threatened that if Orlando came back to the area he would kill him.

According to evidence given in court, Clarke made good on his threat when he came to the woman’s yard and saw Orlando there.

But in his defence, Clarke denied being on the spot and said that the witnesses, the babies’ mother and a relative of hers, were telling lies on him.

The jurors, however, did not buy Clarke’s tale.

On Friday Justice Carroll Edwards said there was no mitigating factor in Clarke’s favour — not his youth, his fatherhood nor his career as a song writer.

Edwards remarked that Clarke had taken the life of a “promising young man”.


Around the Web