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Good Samaritan left disabled after machete attack

Published:Sunday | September 19, 2021 | 4:35 PMBarbara Gayle - Contributor

A father of four young children cannot come to terms with how he was chopped several times, resulting in the loss of use of both hands while doing a good deed for one of his co-workers on June 13, 2019.

Christopher Perkins, 34, shook his head and gazed into space as he related the life-changing ordeal to The Gleaner, noting that one of his greatest concerns is that he can no longer work to support his children, ages 10, 9, 8 and 6.

“I went out a few times to beg to feed my children, but the comments people make when they see my hands, I just go back home and cry,” the bewildered father shared.

On being asked what were the comments, Perkins replied: “I hear people whispering that is thief me thief why my hand chop up.

“Crime can really change people’s lives because it has severely affected mine,” Perkins said, emphasising that he is a very hard-working man who had never stolen from anyone.

Perkins, who lives in Waterhouse, St Andrew, was employed to the National Solid Waste Management Authority for four years as a truck sideman up to that fateful day after going to Sligoville, St Catherine, to collect garbage.

When he later returned to the workplace on Hagley Park Road, Kingston 10, the truck driver then asked him for a lift on his motorcycle to Duhaney Park, St Andrew, to pick up his car from the mechanic.

“When we got there, the car was not quite ready. Someone then came to ask the mechanic to check on a truck that had broken down two streets away. The mechanic asked me for a ride to pick up some tools and then take him to where the truck was, and I assisted.

“I was sitting on my motorcycle looking what the mechanic was doing on the truck when suddenly I felt someone chop me in my head twice with a machete. I began to run and shout, ‘Take the bike!’, because I thought it was a robbery,” Perkins recounted.

He related that a man chased him and chopped him several times then he heard a woman saying, “Sheldon, why are you chopping up the youth?” and she told him to run into her premises.

“While running towards the woman’s house, I fell and the man began chopping with a machete towards my head. I raised up my hands to ward off the chops to my head and both hands were almost chopped off,” Perkins said tearfully.

He was rushed to hospital where he was admitted for two months.

“My right hand was chopped in three places, the left hand was almost severed because only the skin was holding it up and I had chop wounds to my forehead and the back of my head.

“Although the doctors tried to pin back the hands, I cannot use them as I cannot grip anything with my fingers and, therefore, I cannot do any manual work,” Perkins told The Gleaner.

Suspended sentence

Sheldon Lawrence was charged with unlawful wounding arising from the vicious attack and pleaded guilty in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on May 14 to unlawful wounding and was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, which was suspended for 12 months. The suspended sentence means that, if Lawrence is convicted of any offence within the 12 months, he will have to serve the six-month prison sentence.

In addition to the suspended sentence, the judge ordered that Lawrence must participate in a drug treatment programme and was referred to the Nannyville Health Centre in St Andrew.

Commenting further on his misfortune, Perkins – who is now exploring legal options available to him – said that, to this day, he cannot understand why Lawrence chopped him.

“‘Sorry, Mr Perkins’ is all he says when I ask him why he chopped me,” Perkins revealed.

“I am not ashamed to tell anyone that I cannot bathe myself. It is my children’s mother who has to bathe me,” he disclosed.

Perkins says his children are very brilliant and he is frustrated and depressed to see he cannot help them with their basic needs and education.

‘Two of my children are now in need of tablets to do online classes and I cannot afford to buy them. I know if my hands were not disabled, they would have the tablets long time because, when I was working, I supported my children,” he said. “There are times when we go hungry and it really breaks my heart to see the situation my children and myself are in through no fault of my own.”

Anyone who can afford to help Perkins and his children can contact him at 876-336-3787.