Mon | Dec 11, 2023

UPDATE | 'Central again?' - Kingston lock-up battles latest high-profile escape

Published:Thursday | October 6, 2022 | 9:26 AM
Champagnie says he will be assessing whether he can continue to represent Shaw, noting that the development is "very surprising and shocking". - File photo

Senior police officers and King's Counsel Peter Champagnie are questioning security arrangements at Kingston Central police lock-up after accused murderer Rudolph 'Boxer' Shaw, escaped custody overnight.

The lawyer also says he will be assessing whether he can continue to represent Shaw, noting that the development is "very surprising and shocking". 

And there's growing concern in the leadership ranks of the Jamaica Constabulary Force over the escape of the high-profile accused man at a lock-up with a history of similar incidents. 

"How dis fi happen? Wah really a gwaan at Central? A lot of people vex about this, I can tell you. We need answers," said an angry policeman. 

Another cop said: "Central again? How are we going to pretend blindness? Hard working men and women of the Force suffer for these things."

Head of the Kingston Central police division Superintendent Berrisford Williams says Shaw fled the lock-up overnight. He declined to give further details. 

Meanwhile, Champagnie said Shaw appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on Wednesday and was remanded until November 17, when he's scheduled to reappear. 

"It is something that I certainly do not countenance and in those circumstances I will have to revisit my representation in respect of Shaw," he said, reacting to the news of his client fleeing the jail located in downtown Kingston. 

Champagnie said he was scheduled to visit Shaw later this week. 

And the lawyer is raising questions about security at the Kingston Central facility given that Shaw previously fled Jamaica and was nabbed in the Cayman Islands in July. 

"Given that particular history, I am very concerned that this could have been a situation that re-occurred where there was flight again and I suspect that the police are going to want to and should carry out the highest level of investigations concerning this matter," Champagnie told The Gleaner.

"Having fled custody before, I would have thought that there would have been maximum security where he was concerned."

Shaw is accused of murdering 59-year-old Wilfred 'Straight' O'Connor and Clinton 'Onie' Davis, 60, both of St John's Road addresses in St Catherine. 

He was captured in the Cayman Islands on July 8 and later deported to Jamaica. 

Last year, a corruption probe was opened by the force after 27-year-old Orville Purnell, who is wanted in St Lucia on murder and other charges, simply “walked out” of jail at Kingston Central. 

READ MORE: More police interdictions loom over lock-up escapes

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