Feared, convicted killer dies of cancer
by Katherine Renton
Feared, convicted murderer, Daniel ‘Compay’ Trimmingham did not meet his end through the hangman’s noose as many in Marriaqua had hoped, but death has instead found him in the form of cancer.
A trusted source has affirmed that Trimmingham died at the Belle Isle Correctional Institution while in his cell last Friday evening, August 23, between 6 pm and 7pm.
For approximately two months, the prisoner, who was first convicted for the beheading of Albert “Bertie” Browne in November of 2003, had been in the process of being treated for cancer. The cancer is said to have already been at an advanced stage when it was discovered.
Before returning to Belle Isle on Friday, ‘Compay’ had been warded at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH) for some days.
The first disturbing feature in Trimmingham’s case is the nature of the murder that he was convicted for. Browne, a 68-year-old livestock farmer of Carriere, was killed on January 8, 2003, in what the prosecution said was an attempted robbery. The farmer’s body was found in a contour the following day, but the detached head, wrapped in a pair of trousers was only retrieved hours later from a banana hole 200 yards away.
This was the first crime Trimmingham was convicted of, after being accused of many crimes prior to this, SEARCHLIGHT reporter Hawkins Nanton reported when covering the case in 2003. Nanton was also present outside the Mesopotamia magistrate’s court when Trimmingham, who was exiting the court in the custody of police, threatened to poison the water catchments whenever he was released.
The second stand out feature of the case is that the sentence handed down by Justice Frederick Bruce-Lyle for the crime was the death sentence. Nanton reported that the crowd inside and outside of the courtroom on that day took on a “carnival-like atmosphere,” and many jumped up and down before they rushed to
the back of the courtroom to pour scorn on the murderer as he was taken back to prison.
Subsequently, Trimmingham was retried, and went through various appeals. He was convicted for a second time in November 2004, and it wasn’t until the case reached the Privy Council in the United Kingdom that the death penalty was commuted to a life sentence on June 22, 2009. The Council decided that the case was not the “worst of the worst.”
A life sentence is accepted as 30 years, and so Trimmingham may have eventually been freed had he survived the illness.
The sister of Browne, Noreen Jackson, had told SEARCHLIGHT in 2009 that as long as Trimmingham is alive she would always be scared of him.
Her opinion at the time was that “If he ever gets out, he will kill again.”