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Convicted murderer coming back home

Convicted murderer coming back home

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by KIMBERLEY CUMMINS

DEPORTATION PROCEDURES have been initiated in Barbados to have 59-year-old convicted killer Arleigh Hector James sent back to his homeland St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), after he was released Tuesday from HMP Dodds, after serving 22 years for beheading his wife Debra James.

Her teenaged daughter Sabrina Arlington was also killed in that 1994 attack, but he was never charged.

The DAILY NATION was reliably informed that James was expected to be shipped back to SVG by this weekend, but a number of legal issues still had to be settled.{{more}}

“He will not be deported yet, as they have to consider a number of legal matters in relation to his removal,” a legal source said.

According to the source, reports of James’ release caught the Immigration Department by surprise.

“Everybody was a little confused.”

It was also understood that immigration officials had approached the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for a position on James’ deportation, but were told that the relevant act did not support his deportation, based on his current record.

Tuesday evening, several residents of Newbury, St George were hopping mad and others were in a state of shock, as news of his release began to spread throughout the close-knit community.

One of those persons most saddened by the news was Fadelma George, who was on the receiving end of James’ cutlass, when in 1994, he charged into her home and killed his wife and her teen daughter, and allegedly attempted to kill his eight-year-old son. George received wounds to her right hand as she tried in vain to prevent James from gaining access to her home as his family sought refuge there.

Almost in disbelief, George lamented that her family should have at least been notified when James would be set free.

Displaying scars from the attack, she recounted the events of that night, while expressing concern about the effect it had had on her daughter, who witnessed the murder.

She said after that night, her daughter, who was a friend of James’ stepdaughter, did not want to go out because of her fear that James could be somewhere “peeping”.

“I don’t even know how I am going to tell her this news,” George said.

Horrible night

“That night was a horrible, horrible night. He could have killed me too . . . . When he was chopping up his wife, he looked at the little girl (Sabrina) and say, ‘You don’t worry to run ’cause you next’. I ain’t feel so happy about [his release], but there is nothing I can do. I put everything in God’s hands,” she said.

Her husband Kenneth was less diplomatic, as he called on Government to put James on the first flight out of Barbados en route to St Vincent and the Grenadines, where he was born.

“He ain’t deserve to be in Barbados. He ain’t even spend no time for Sabrina. Twenty years is not enough for what he do to those two people, what he do to my wife and the damage he do to my [property].

“I tell you up to now nobody ain’t return to clean all the blood that was dripping from the mattresses and the [ceiling] of my house. Now he release, carry he straight to the airport, put he on a plane, take a picture so we know he was really on the plane and ship he back to St Vincent.”

Another resident, who recalled being among onlookers when the bodies of the victims were taken away, held her head in the palm of her hands, as water filled her eyes upon hearing neighbours talk about James’ release.

She said: “I saw when [Debra’s] head rolled off the stretcher, when the Two Sons men wheel her out and I thought that was terrible . . . . This now give me an instant headache. I just don’t know what to say. Whatever will be, will be.”

A resident, who asked not to be named, was more critical of authorities than about James’ actual release.

He said he felt let down. He explained that in March, when the NATION carried a story on James’ proposed release, he listened to an official in another part of the media refuting the story.

“Now look, he (James) is a free man and countless lives damaged. But I shouldn’t have been surprised by this . . .,” he said.

Efforts to reach the DPP, Charles Leacock QC for comment were unsuccessful up to the time of writing.

Attempts to have an audience with James Wednesday, now staying with his family in Lowlands, Christ Church, about the deportation development were unsuccessful.

When a DAILY NATION team visited the residence, they were told that James was out for the day and would return around 5 p.m., but up to that time he did not.

As the sun began to set, there was still no sight of him, and a female relative, upon arriving home, expressed anger at the presence of journalists. She said she had no interest in speaking on the matter.

She also threatened to release her dogs on the team.

James’ attorney Tariq Khan, who appeared with Desmond Sands in the matter, said Tuesday that though Barbadians might question the outcome, the amount of work put in by the Probation Department, Psychiatric Service and the Prison Service to rehabilitate the murderer had been “tremendous”.

It was also reported that James’ release would be subject to a period of review for the next 12 months at six-month intervals, by both a probation officer and a psychiatrist, so the court would remain informed as to how he was coping. (The Daily Nation/SDB Media)

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