Tue | Oct 16, 2018

Compensation in limbo - Blind man who fell in gully and broke leg pleads for justice

Published:Wednesday | September 26, 2018 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Percival McIntosh

After almost five years, Percival McIntosh's compensation plea is in limbo. In March, the elderly blind man belted out his frustration to The Gleaner about the Government's failure to compensate him for damages after he fell into a Corporate Area gully that had no railings.

The railings were believed to have been removed by persons in the lucrative scrap metal trade, which caused the visually impaired man to fall right into the gully, breaking one of his legs.

Public Defender Arlene Harrison Henry, who has been pursuing the case on behalf of McIntosh, told The Gleaner that his situation was seriously being looked into.

But after six months and still nothing, McIntosh insists the parties involved are dragging their feet.

"The lawyer I had on the case gave everything to the Office of the Public Defender. They have everything down there. I can't seem to hear anything positive. All now mi nuh get mi likkle change. They treat me bad for a man who used to drive one of the long buses marked Government of Jamaica. I don't see why I can't get the likkle money to come off the streetside and go do my business," he told The Gleaner in Half-Way Tree, St Andrew, on Monday.

"Mi cyaa feel good. If you come out here at five o'clock in the mornings, I am out here begging. Every morning I come to Half-Way Tree. The other day a child died and her family was given thousands of dollars to bury her quick quick. They have me like a puppet. Sun burn mi more time till I feel to drop down. All rain wet me up."

 

KINDNESS FROM VENDORS

 

Two kind vendors in Half-Way Tree, who gave their names as Tamara and Jug Head, regularly look out for McIntosh.

"It has been five years now since the incident. How is he supposed to support himself? He has to be begging, and he has to pay roughly $17,000 per month in bills. I assist him in any way I can," Tamara said.

"They at the Office of the Public Defender have all the paperwork, but still nothing positive yet. Sometimes mi feel bad to see how the sun bun him up. The other day I had to buy a tarpaulin for him because he can't just be sitting in the rain like that."

Jug Head shared that, "This man will get a new black pants and when sun bun him, it turn brown. The whole a him shirt dem burn out. I wonder why the people won't give him the little money."

The Gleaner tried to reach the public defender and Deputy Public Defender Herbert McKenzie for an update, but a secretary from the office said they were out of town at a conference.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com