Fri | Oct 19, 2018

'He was my everything' - Mother of man killed in attempted murder-suicide mourns

Published:Wednesday | October 5, 2016 | 12:00 AMCecelia Campbell
Sean Sappleton set his house afire and died in the blaze.
The house on Greenheart Street, Phase Three, Longville Park in Clarendon.
Thelma Sappleton is now wondering how she will pick up the pieces after her son's death.
Cliffane Rose, Sean Sappleton's brother, wishing he had seen the signs.

"Why?" That is the question uppermost in relatives', friends' and neighbours' minds about 40-year-old Sean Sappleton, who set his house afire in an apparent attempt to kill his wife and two stepdaughters along with himself.

Sappleton, a trucker and taxi operator, died, while his wife Althea Bedward Sappleton and her two daughters, Sasha-Kay and Vanessa Richards, were yesterday admitted to hospital in critical condition.

"We didn't see this one coming. He was such a jovial person. Why would he do this?" one neighbour commented.

Sappleton's mother, Thelma Sappleton, who seemed to be in a daze, struggled to hold back tears, as she said she didn't know what she would do without her son.

"He was my everything. Right now, I don't even know what to tell you. Dat deh man mi call pon fi everything," she said.

According to the late trucker's mother, who lives in Nine Turns, upper Clarendon, where her son originates, he was loved by everyone there.

Thelma said the only inkling she had that things may not be right came when he separated from his wife a few months ago.

However, she thought their issues had been worked out, as they had got back together.

Sappleton's brother, Cliffane Rose, who expressed shock at the incident, said he had called him a few days ago with a proposal.

"I told him I am buying a car and wanted to put his name on it. He told me that he can't and advised me to put another family member's name. Man, I feel so cut up 'bout this," Rose shared.

He said in all their conversations, there was no clue to suggest all was not well, emotionally, with his brother.

Francine Bedward, Sappleton's sister-in-law, also wondered what could have driven him to try to hurt her sister and nieces.

"They had minor disputes, nothing that would get me suspicious," she said.

Other neighbours expressed surprise, as they said a few days ago, the couple could be seen painting the veranda grille together.

Sappleton was also active in the last community project in which they painted the sidewalks.

Shellivie Lumsden, president of the parent support group in the scheme, is encouraging family members to reach out for help.

"This is one of the results of domestic violence happening in the scheme that seem to be overshadowed by the impression of a good life," she said.

"People are having psychological issues and are too embarrassed to open up. This is a stigma identified in Longville, and we need to deal with it. If you have issues, there are a lot of trained counsellors. Reach out."