Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Hell bent on revenge - Pastor stops father of murdered 14-year-old from carrying out ‘jungle justice’

Published:Sunday | April 9, 2017 | 4:00 AMLeon Jackson
Alford Johnson (left), his common-law wife, Taniesha Smith, and one of their children mourning the death of 14-year-old Oraine Johnson who was killed by an 11-year-old boy last week.
Reverend Owen Watson (left) comforting a grieving Taneisha Smith the mother of 14-year-old Oraine Johnson who was killed by an 11-year-old boy last week.
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Monday, April 4, 2017 will forever be etched in the mind of 45-year-old construction worker Alford Johnson, of Lowe River, near Wait-A-Bit, in the hilly terrains of southern Trelawny.

It was the day he was called to return home quickly from where he was doing some construction work to be greeted with worst news possible.

Johnson was told that the lifeless body of his 14-year-old son Oraine was lying in a nearby banana field, his throat slashed by an 11-year-old boy from the same community.

 

DUMBSTRUCK

 

Johnson, who is better known as 'Gary', was dumbstruck by what he saw, and to compound his agony, when he eventually made it back home, he found that his common-law-wife, Taneisha Smith, Oraine's mother, was all but out of her mind with grief.

Smith had defecated on herself and was wallowing in the mess, oblivious of what she was doing.

Neighbours, who had come to try and comfort them, had to intervene and clean her up. No one slept for the remainder of the night as grief swept the household.

At daybreak, the grieving father basically snapped. In a state of rage, he left his house declaring that he was going to personally hunt down the youngster who inflicted the fatal wound on his beloved Oraine, and give him a taste of jungle justice.

 

REVENGE IN MIND

 

As Johnson walked out of his house with revenge on his mind and a plan to hang himself afterwards, he met the police, who were on their way to his house with the Reverend Owen Watson, who they were taking to provide the family with grief counselling.

"When I saw him (Johnson), he was in a daze. I took him into a nearby shop where I sat him down. He told me his story and the decision he had made in-between tears," said Watson. "We were able to convince him to change his mind."

When our news team visited the Johnsons' home last Tuesday, relatives said that, as was customary, Oraine's mother had prepared his school uniform as if he were still alive. Realising that she was on the verge of a mental breakdown, the family took her for medical attention.

For his part, Johnson, who was quite subdued after the pastor's intervention, told the news team he had a special bond with Oraine, who was the second of his four children.

"Taneisha did her own delivery that night," said Johnson, recalling the night Oraine was born - two weeks ahead of the delivery date his common-law wife had been given by the doctors.

"She even cut the navel string (umbilical cord) herself. In the morning, the nurse came and did what was to be done."

With his common-law wife getting medical attention and Johnson more composed after being counselled, relatives and neighbours vowed to stand by the family which is struggling to come to grips with the tragedy that has befallen them.