Fri | Aug 18, 2017

I did it for his wife ... Why the Hampton principal attended bail hearing of pastor on sex charge

Published:Thursday | January 5, 2017 | 1:21 PM
Principal of the Hampton School Heather Murray (right) smiles as Moravian minister Rupert Clarke (left) is led away from the St Elizabeth Parish Court yesterday.

Heather Murray, the principal of the Hampton School in St Elizabeth has issued a statement seeking to explain why she decided to visit the St Elizabeth Parish Court yesterday at the bail hearing of Rupert Clarke, the 64-year-old Moravian Minister charged with having sex with a minor.

Murray, the 2014 principal of the year, has been facing intense social media backlash over her decision to turn up at court.

READ: Principal faces backlash for appearance at pastor's court hearing

However, in the statement today, she said she did it for her friend, the wife of the accused pastor.

In the statement, Murray however failed to explain why she attempted to block The Gleaner photographer from taking photographs of the accused pastor as he made his way from court

See full statement below:

I find it necessary to set the record straight in the matter of my presence at the bail hearing of Rev Rupert Clarke. 

His wife has been my very good friend since we both attended Hampton School in the 1960s/70s.

We are both long time educators who have been serving together for many years on several boards, committees and commissions.

We are both Justices of the Peace. 

Such is the closeness of our relationship that when the news broke, I was naturally the first person to whom she turned for solace and support.

I have not left her side since because I know that my friend needs me.

She reached out to me as a wife, mother and friend.

We were married a year apart and our daughters were born a day apart in the same hospital.

Such is the bond that we share.

My presence at the court was to be there for my friend who needed my moral support.

As a wife, mother of two daughters and principal with responsibility for 1,220 young ladies, I have sought always to protect and defend them and the young children of Jamaica.

That has not and will never change.

- Heather Murray
January 5, 2017