Farmer’s murder leaves Brandon Hill in mourning
The murder of a farmer in Bakers Ridge in Brandon Hill, St Andrew, on Sunday night has dealt a blow to the rural district, dampening the spirits of community youth who had been inspired by him to chart a path in agriculture.
Relatives and friends are mourning the death of 31-year-old Lesburn ‘Freddy’ Webster, who was the family breadwinner.
Bloodstains were telling signs of how desperately the wounded man ran from his attacker to reach the family home, where he collapsed.
His cousin, George Joseph, told The Gleaner that Webster ran about a quarter of a mile from where he got shot.
“It frighten me. From last night ‘til now, mi eye can’t shut. Mi not even eat. More time him leave the road, a ya so him come come sleep,” Joseph said.
Webster rears goats and pigs and cultivates crops such as banana, plantain, and coffee.
Explosions and the barking of dogs around 10:45 p.m. had alerted the residents, who summoned the police.
Noveille Webster said that his brother was a model sibling who was the hands and feet of their sickly mother.
According to Noveille, Lesburn’s influence on progressive youth in Brandon Hill was immeasurable.
“He brings other youths in farming so they don’t rob and turn gunman. Him show dem how to make money, how to live. Is like dem get bad mind and jealous … . Him die by the gun but him never live by the gun. Him work hard,” Noveille said in a Gleaner interview.
Friends who had reported seeing Webster moments before he had been killed are still in shock.
They recall sentimentally how Webster contributed to the community spirit, often supplying dances and parties in the area with meat in abundance.
“Him will have 25 man with him a work on the farm and dem can’t do the work, and nuh say dem worthless, you know. Dem jus can’t manage like him,” the resident said of Webster’s understanding.
Residents said that the lack of street lights in Bakers Ridge may have provided cover for the attack on Webster, who was walking home in the dark.
The killer reportedly escaped on foot.
The residents and family went to his farm yesterday and fed the animals and took some of them closer to the community for safekeeping.
They fear that in Webster’s absence, thieves may prey on the farm.
One of the farmers who was influenced by Webster said he was like a godfather to Bakers Ridge, starting virtually from nothing.
“Mi feel like a dream mi a dream. He is so important, progressive, and teach all of us,” a dejected young farmer said.