Sun | Nov 28, 2021

14-y-o cut herself in cry for help

Published:Wednesday | May 12, 2021 | 12:15 AMRuddy Mathison/Gleaner Writer
Calvin Butler, a neighbour of Danesha Cooper, mourns the death of the 14-year-old girl on Monday.
Calvin Butler, a neighbour of Danesha Cooper, mourns the death of the 14-year-old girl on Monday.

The 14-year-old girl who was slain in a jealous rage by a 20-year-old who obsessed over her had engaged in acts of self-mutilation and even went missing in an apparent cry for help. That is the account of Cooper’s stepfather Andre Stewart, who told...

The 14-year-old girl who was slain in a jealous rage by a 20-year-old who obsessed over her had engaged in acts of self-mutilation and even went missing in an apparent cry for help.

That is the account of Cooper’s stepfather Andre Stewart, who told The Gleaner that he once had to reprimand his daughter for maintaining contact with her eventual killer.

Cooper, a student at Jonathan Grant High School in St Catherine, died in the intensive care unit at the Kingston Public Hospital on Monday after succumbing to stab wounds she sustained in the attack.

The alleged killer is in police custody.

Relatives and neighbours confirmed that Cooper and the 20-year-old had been in a relationship for at least a year but that he began to harass her recently after she took the advice of her stepfather to break off ties.

Her mother, Sashane Tulloch, denies the two were involved.

But Stewart said he fought an emotional battle trying to save his daughter.

“Mi daughter call him and mi say to her, ‘What you a call him for? How come you a sorry fi man weh want fi kill you?” Stewart said.

Calvin Butler, a 52-year-old neighbour who burns charcoal near the house where Cooper lived with her mother and stepfather, said he was coming from his field three days before the incident and saw the accused hiding in the bushes close to the house.

“I come up sudden on him and said to him, ‘What you a do near the people dem house?’ and he told me to mind my own business because he will shoot me,” Butler said.

USING FEAR TO CONTROL

Butler said that the 20-year-old was using fear to control the teenage girl, adding that he was warned on many occasions by neighbours to leave her alone.

According to Butler, the 20-year old man was hiding in the bushes near her house on Saturday and followed her to the shop without she knowing and that’s when he attacked her.

In a social-media post, the alleged attacker accused persons in Naseberry Grove of calling the police on him and threatened that everyone “would go down” if the police were to apprehend him.

Meanwhile, the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) dispatched a response team to Cooper’s family home on Tuesday.

Personnel met with family members, provided grief counselling, and conducted a needs assessment.

CPFSA Communications Manager Rochelle Dixon Gordon told The Gleaner that the agency will make a referral for ongoing counselling through the Victim Services Division.

“We are deeply saddened by the incident and express sincere condolences to the family,” she said.

It is unclear if similar investigations have been launched by the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse, as head of that agency, Charmaine Shand, could not be reached for reaction up to press time.

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