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Family feuds increase fatality count

Published:Friday | October 30, 2015 | 6:20 PMGary Spaulding

MERE DAYS after a middle-aged woman was murdered in Manchester in a suspected domestic dispute gone awry, the life of a man in the same age range has been snuffed out, allegedly, during another family falling-out.

Worry that deadly family feuds are becoming commonplace has prompted a senior member of the police force to sound an alarm about the need for increased interventions to cauterise what he describes as a troubling trend.

Head of the Criminal Investigation Branch Assistant Commissioner of Police Ealan Powell told The Gleaner yesterday that less than a week after 61-year-old business woman Norma Henry Coleman's life was brutally snuffed out, allegedly as a result of a family dispute, another family disagreement has led to death.

Powell said this one involved a 63-year-old man who was killed and his body burnt, allegedly by his two sons. "It's early in the investigations, but you will be hearing a lot more on this case," he said. "Can you imagine killing and burning a man over a simple family dispute?" said an obviously distressed Powell.

As if that were not enough, Powell said that there is another matter being investigated in Portland in which a man allegedly stabbed his father during a dispute.

"I am collating the data, but we are seeing this more and more to the extent that it's becoming the norm," he said. "People are no longer sitting down and talking."

Powell lamented that families and close friends are opting to fight it out rather than talk it out.

He told The Gleaner that many of the disputes originated over land ownership and occupancy. "Too many of these family feuds and community disagreements are spawning murders," he said.

Investigators in Manchester theorise that Henry Coleman's murder was a contract killing.

The police revealed yesterday that a third policeman was being questioned in relation to the killing of Henry Coleman last Friday.

The constable, who was reportedly held in Kingston, is now the fifth suspect in custody. The others are a constable, a district constable, a female civilian, and the deceased woman's husband, Vincent Coleman.

The police say that on Thursday, Coleman turned himself in at the Criminal Investigation Bureau headquarters. He was accompanied by his attorney.