Jamaica Officers



Monday 5th March 2001 - Jamaica press

Two cops recruited by Bermuda return home - Both facing charges of unlawful wounding

By Balford Henry, Senior Reporter

TWO LOCAL policemen recruited by the Bermuda Police Service (BPS), last June to beef up its thinning ranks, are back home facing charges in the Half-Way Tree Court of unlawful wounding.

Constables Markland Telemaque and Emerson Donald, who were among eight members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) recruited by the BPS and their colleague Constable Lloyd Richards were charged recently, on the directions of the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), with the shooting of 21-year-old bank clerk Sophia Richards.

The incident occurred about one month prior to their recruitment. Constable Richards is not related to the victim.

The policemen appeared before Resident Magistrate Jennifer Straw in the Half-Way Tree Resident Magistrate's Court on February 16, 19 and 21 and are to return to court on March 15.  Constables Richards and Donald are represented by Tom Tavares-Finson and Constable Telemaque by Arthur Kitchin.

Sophia Richards was shot in the back of the head in early May last year, during a chase involving the policemen and a route taxi operating between Half-Way Tree and Red Hills Road, Kingston. The chase ended on Cowper Drive.  The bullet lodged in her head for a couple of weeks, then fell out while she was combing her hair for work one morning in July.  Miss Richards said she was not sent to hospital until some 20 minutes after the shooting.

Telemaque and Donald were among eight local policemen recruited in June, 2000 by the BPS on a three-year, non-renewal contract.

Their recruitment came out of a three-month regional drive by the BPS Commissioner Jean Jacques Lemay, in search of 45 male constables to fill vacant positions in that country. Lemay said his Government was finding it difficult to recruit policemen in Bermuda.

Bermuda's Minister of Home Affairs and Public Safety, Paula Cox, said that strict rules were used to select the candidates and described them as "exceptional officers."

The constables earn just over $80,000 per month plus fringe benefits in Bermuda, compared to $25,000 a month gross paid to local constables. The BPS pay package is said to be comparable to that of an Assistant Commissioner of Police working in Jamaica.

The Gleaner understands that the two policemen will remain in the island until their case is concluded. They are still members of the JCF and are expected to resume duties with the local force at the end of their three-year contract. It could not be ascertained whether they were still on the pay roll of the JCF.




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