Sat | Apr 4, 2020

Grieving mom seeks closure after 10-year-old killed

Published:Friday | February 21, 2020 | 12:08 AMRuddy Mathison/Gleaner Writer

Sleepless nights, inconsolable meltdowns, and existing in a state of denial characterise the daily life of Winsome Goulbourne, who lost her 10-year-old son, Leon Whittingham, little more than a year ago when he was shot in the head.

Goulbourne is hoping that her unceasing cry for justice will bring about closure to the December 7, 2018, killing of her son.

The distraught mother said that to date, the Old Harbour Bay Police, who have been investigating the incident, have failed to make a breakthrough.

“It has been one year and two months now since Leon was shot in the house, and [even] now, no arrest has been made,” Goulbourne told The Gleaner.

“I continue to endure sleepless nights, crying all the time when I look at his bed and his clothes. The memory of Leon is still fresh in my mind. I live in denial each day, telling myself that he will come home some day. I visit his graveside every Sunday and cry out aloud,” she lamented.

According to Goulbourne, she was on her way to Mandeville on the day the incident occurred when she received a call from her mother that there was a shooting at her house and Leon was the victim.

“It was a little after 4 p.m. when I received the call. I broke down but somehow managed to turn around and headed straight to the Spanish Town Hospital, where he was taken, but when I got there, he was already dead,” she recounted.


A single mother, who also has a 14-year-old daughter and a 21-year-old son, Goulbourne said that the police told her that they were unable to make an arrest because when they arrived at the crime scene, the gun was missing.

“As far as I know, Leon was not alone in the room when he was shot. There were two other boys ages 11 and 13 who were his friends and in the room also, along with his sister, who was in an adjoining room. However, when the police got there, the gun was missing,” she disclosed.

With tears gushing down her face, Goulbourne shared with The Gleaner some lasting memories of Leon. ”He had all the promise in the world. He often said he wanted to design the first plane that will save lives if it crashes. He was so loving, and he would cook for me and set the table for the two of us to eat together. He even saved his money and took his grandmother to dinner on her birthday. That’s the kind of boy he was.”

Efforts to get responses to Goulbourne’s concerns from the commanding officer of the Old Harbour police, Senior Superintendent Clive Blair, have been unsuccessful.

He, however, told The Gleaner that he was trying to schedule a meeting between Goulbourne and the detectives assigned to the case so that they could update her on the matter.