Wife's murder drives husband to alcohol
When Ashley ‘Bush Tiger’ Hayden left home for a nearby shop on December 31, 2014, his wife, Baptist deacon and retired matron, Hyacinth, was in the kitchen of their Green Park, Trelawny, home preparing the pot of soup that was supposed to be part of their New Year ritual.
On his return from the shop, instead of greeting him as usual, Champ, the Haydens’ Rottweiler, was behaving strangely, barking by the door of the car and running back and forth. It was as if the animal was trying to tell him something.
Somewhat perplexed, Hayden followed Champ towards the kitchen, and then he saw her, his beloved ‘Cynth’, sprawled out on the floor, covered in blood, dying, her throat slashed.
“I thought she had fallen, but as I raised her head, I saw a gaping hole in her throat ... a lump of air flowed out and she groaned, then she died,” recalled Hayden.
“I froze. I did not know what to do, but found enough courage to call a friend, Bryan Chin,” continued Hayden. “He went to the police station to file a report. When neighbours started arriving, having heard the terrifying news, instead of his usual aggressive barking, Champ just laid at the front of his kennel, greeting everybody with a mournful howl.”
THE BOTTLE A SOLACE
Amid the shock, Hayden somehow managed to telephone his three adult children and gave them the terrible news. He could hear them wailing as the news sunk in.
Since that fateful day, two years ago, Hayden has turned to alcohol for solace, as he is still having trouble moving around the house without the tragic memory flooding back into his thought.
“I cannot handle the thought of her dying, especially the way she was tortured,” said Hayden. “Since that fateful day, on each occasion that I am alone, I take to the bottle. I have consumed more rum in the two years than I did all the years prior. The children are scared of Jamaica and it is now two years and we cannot come together to put on a headstone on Cynth’s tomb."
Added Hayden: “My friends Ansel Rodney, Isaac McNaughton and Bryan Chin have helped me survive. They have spent night upon night with me and leave at a time when I just go to sleep.”
... A teenager she used to feed is charged with taking her life
Hyacinth Hayden's death has had a devastating effect on her friend and fellow deacon at Granville Baptist Church, Veronica Brown.
“My activities at church have been scaled down. I don’t go to Bible study or any function at nights. Hyacinth and I used to travel together. She would pick me up and take me home,” said Brown.
“Since then, if I am out late, I stay by my brother instead of walking home alone. She was too kind a person to be so viciously killed.”
Following investigations, a teenager from the area, who had benefited from Cynth’s generosity, eating out of her pot, was arrested and charged with the murder.
“It has caused me to think long and hard. I ask myself the question, ‘Where did we all go wrong that a teenager cou l d summon enough cou r age t o commit such a venomous act?’” said the Reverend Devere Nugent, who was the deceased woman’s pastor for nine years.