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Stabroek News

Jah Cure's reflections - 'It is all about rehabilitation'
published: Sunday | September 4, 2005


- JUNIOR DOWIE/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Jah Cure in prison.

Glenroy Sinclair, Staff Reporter

HE WAS evasive about the incident, no longer forceful in his declaration of innocence. He thinks there's a move afoot to stymie his upcoming appeal for parole. Siccaturie Alcock or Jah Cure wants to get out of jail and believes that the time to do so is drawing near.

"Me get sentence a'ready. Mi nuh know why dem woulda waan come with this again," he said, looking to the sky. He was referring to a report published in last week's Sunday Gleaner in which the woman he was convicted of raping outlined her ordeal.

According to the rape victim Suzanne Ferguson, she, her two male cousins and her aunt were walking to the Flamingo Nightclub in St. James to play a game of pool when she observed a tinted, two-door Turbo Starlet motor car going in the opposite direction. Within minutes, the group noticed the same car coming slowly back down the road. She took a mental note of the number of the licence plate.

The group went to the club and after spending about two hours there, decided to head back home. On reaching Windsor Road, the car which they had noticed earlier, drove up and blocked their path. Two men were inside. The occupant of the passenger seat jumped out with a gun in his hand and immediately gun-butted one of Suzanne's male cousins. The gunman then ordered the other cousin to walk over to him. Both cousins were robbed and verbally abused.

Her cousins were told to run for their lives. They did. The gunmen then ordered Suzanne and her aunt into the back of the vehicle.

VICIOUSLY RAPED

Their jewellery was taken and the man with the gun sat on top of them, so that they were unable to see where they were being taken. The men then drove on to a bushy, dirt track in the Spring Farm area. It was there that the men viciously raped the women.

"Jah Cure raped me at gunpoint, while the other man raped my aunt outside on the dirt track, in a pile of gravel. While begging for my life in the car and with the gun pointed at my head, I began resisting and begging him," Suzanne recalled.

Said Jah Cure: "This can mek me get another sentence. I don't know if dem ago mek she mek me no get no parole. But that should never be so, because de warder dem a watch me behavioural pattern and if me get hold down because of her argument, den me know sey rehabilitation nuh real."

The fit-looking Rastafarian in the military-green outfit could have been mistaken for a visitor at the General Penitentiary, the maximum security prison at Tower Street in Kingston.

He is pencil-slim and militant in his manner but still very much the entertainer - a man on stage, and it seems the prison bars cannot hold back his impact. Even on the cell blocks, Jah Cure - currently one of the hottest acts in hard-core reggae - remains larger than life.

Serving a 13-year prison term for rape, Jah Cure has been at the penal facility since 1999, one year after he sexually assaulted a young woman in his hometown of Montego Bay, St. James.

In the interview with The Sunday Gleaner last week, the woman now 25, said she is upset with repeated statements made by Jah Cure, proclaiming his innocence.

However, speaking with The Sunday Gleaner from behind the high brick walls of the Tower Street Correctional Centre, Jah Cure did not offer to tell his side of the story.

Sitting on a chair inside the superintendent's office, Jah Cure's laid-back persona changed when he was told that the woman was about to go public with the story that has put him behind bars for the past six years.

"Right now me a rehabilitate and it is not a case of guilty or innocent anymore. It is all about rehabilitation and I am coming out, either or (e)ither, time is winding down," the entertainer said.

Detective Sergeant Cecil Clarke, a trained forensic specialist, who investigated the case against the singer, told The Sunday Gleaner that no Deoribonucleic Acid (DNA) test had been done because the evidence against him was overwhelming. The matter was a jury trial.

At that time, Det. Sergeant Clarke was the sub-officer in charge of crime at the Coral Gardens Police Station in St. James. He is now based in Westmoreland.

Apart from the positive identification, Det. Sgt. Clarke said the condom which was used by Jah Cure's accomplice to rape the young woman's aunt, was found at the scene of the crime in Spring Farm, Montego Bay, St. James.

"When the rape incident was reported to us, we traced the licence plate of the car and the owner turned out to be Siccaturie Alcock, alias 'Jah Cure'," the Detective Sergeant said.

"I was able to identify him (Jah Cure) because his voice was distinct. They kept talking in the vehicle. Anywhere I hear that voice, I will always remember it. During the incident, he tried to kiss me and I could smell the ganja scent on his breath," Suzanne said last week.

According to Clarke, during their investigation, Jah Cure's mother gave a statement to the police, saying that on the night of the incident, her son was not at her house and she had not seen him, although she had heard that he was somewhere around the place.

The detective said Jah Cure in his statement said on the night of the incident, he was at his mother's house and had taken a meal of fried chicken for his younger brother.

Jah Cure's mother Pansita Campbell was again mentioned by Suzanne last week.

"When I had to go over the whole ordeal in court, it was devastating. He (Jah Cure) tried talking to me, trying to say it was not him. He introduced a pregnant woman to me at the courthouse, saying that she was his expectant baby mother. He was trying to get me to become sympathetic toward him. But afterwards, his mother - who was at the courthouse - told me that the woman was neither pregnant for him, nor was she his girlfriend."

Head of the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), Major Richard Reese, told The Sunday Gleaner that Jah Cure applied for parole last year but was denied. His case was reviewed by the Appeal Court and the appeal turned down.

"He has not applied so far this year, and even if he gets parole, he will have to be monitored, so he will be unable to travel outside of the country," said Maj. Reese.

According to Jah Cure, he spends most of his days in prison praying and counselling other inmates and preaching "one house of love".

He had high praises for the rehabilitation programme at the centre, which he says has worked for him and many others, but he believes it needs a lot more financial support. He has promised to help to finance the programme as soon as he is freed.

"A one thing me a tell de youth dem, just use me as an example and look, because the world want me and because of what me get in trouble for, whether me innocent or guilty, you see sey me have wait until certain time, either dem give you parole or wait on yuh time," he said.

When asked if he was regretful of any incidents in his past, he paused, then took a deep breath and said: "The only thing me sorry sey, is dat me never get to finish my schooling. Dat a de only thing me sorry bout, but anuh my fault."

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