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'I am no murderer'

Published:Sunday | April 15, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Mary Lynch: I was the subject of grave injustice.- Ian Allen/Staff Photographer

Mary Lynch breaks her silence five years after being released from prison

Lovelette Brooks, News Editor

Mary D'Oyley Lynch sits heavily in her easy chair.

She crosses her legs carefully, right over left, takes a sip of her Ganoderma coffee served in delicate china, looks across the courtyard of her modest St Andrew apartment, and sighs.

The woman who was convicted of the 1992 murder of her 54-year-old Barbados-born husband, Leary Lynch, a then bank divisional general manager, is giving her first media interview since she was sent to prison 26 years ago and her release on parole five years ago.

Lynch is angry and depressed - a mix of emotions that play out during the long interview with The Sunday Gleaner.

"I am no murderer!" Lynch states emphatically as her anger bubbles.

"We had a fight ... one of many. He attacked me with a machete. Anyone of us could have been killed," she says of that fateful Sunday morning.

Insisting that what she describes as the "crisis" (the hacking of her husband to death) was the result of a tussle involving a machete, Lynch takes The Sunday Gleaner back to the wee hours of that Sunday morning in 1992.

As if on cue, the grey afternoon sky opened up with a deluge, lightning and thunder as Lynch recounts the gory details.

"About 3 a.m., my husband woke me up and said, 'We have to talk', and I said, 'ok, give me a few minutes'. I perhaps drifted back to sleep.

"He came back shortly afterwards and said, 'Get up, I am leaving the bank and I need to talk'."

According to Lynch: "I got out of bed and an argument started about his leaving the bank. He subsequently pushed me, and we started to fight. It was physical. It was a hell of a fight! Furniture mash up, everything turn upside down. We started upstairs and ended up downstairs. He kept saying, 'How dare you fight me back, I am your husband'.

"He ran outside and came back inside with a machete wielding. I was stuck in a corner when he came at me with it. I ran around, everything scatter. He raised the machete to chop me. He was like a monster! I held on to his hand and the machete missed but caught my foot. I can show you the scar from the cut.

"I grabbed the machete and started swinging it, left, right, left, right to ward him off," said Lynch as she stood up in her living room and replay the scene from that morning as the rain continued to pound.

"The rest is history," she says sitting down.

All is quiet, except for the thunderous rain.

"I do not know what happened after that, I can't remember clearly," she says, but I left the house and went to a friend and did not return until the Wednesday."

However, during the trial, she told the court that Lynch kept fighting her, and at one point she blacked out. She also testified that when she regained consciousness, she eased herself from under her husband and ran.

She said during the trial that she later dragged the body from the master bedroom to the carport, where she put the body into the trunk of a white Volvo motor car, and drove around until she ended up in the hills. She backed up the car into a narrow dirt road, took out the body, poured gas oil and newspaper on the corpse and lit it.

studying my situation

Having been convicted, Mary Lynch served 12 years in the Fort Augusta Prison for women. While there, she said she did a lot of writing.

"I spent my time studying my situation and other similar cases around the world. I also did a lot of writing. As a matter of fact, I wrote myself out of there," she says referring to her many letters of appeal to the governor general and human-rights organisations.

Much of her anger is directed at the prosecutors. In a letter penned to the General Legal Council in April 2009, Lynch charged that she was unfairly prosecuted.

"I was the subject of grave injustice and sentenced unjustly to 20 years' life imprisonment 'with stipulation' as some vital available evidence was not produced to the court at the trial," the lengthy letter read in part.

"I was tried as a murderer, but my case was manslaughter or total acquittal ... my defence was to be self-defence and provocation due to the long history of of abuse ...," she wrote.

Read I Want The Public To Know …'The Real Mary'