by Kimberley Cummins
A grieving mother wants to know why her only child was taken away from her.
On Wednesday September 26, two days after his 26th birthday, Brad Gittens died as a result of injuries to his head. The incident occurred on September 15, when he was left unconscious after a beating.
On September 17 doctors who were treating him in the Intensive Care Unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital declared him brain dead.
Today, in an interview with Barbados TODAY at her Union, St. Philip home, mother Cynthia said she was still trying to find out what could have provoked the accused to treat her son, as she put it, worse than a dog.
“Brad was just going to visit a friend so he went to the shop; that is something he accustomed doing – it was routine. From all reports, Brad was going about his lawful business and he deliberately set upon him. If you heard eyewitness accounts of how he treat Brad … you don’t even treat dogs that way – yuh don’t treat a dog that way.
“You beat the boy, I understand he made about two attempts to get away, but Brad was what we would call a stripling. [The man who killed my son] is a big strapping 44-year-old, but every time he grab him and he kick him.
“The fellas tell me you should see Brad on the ground and he kicking and kicking he and the fella tell me ‘Mum, Brad had more than head injuries. I know because the way how he treated Brad, Brad must have had broken ribs, broken this, broken that. I won’t be surprised if he had a broken back’.
“That is what the guy told me. He said that Brad was down there (she pointed to the ground) and he was on his head and he head was just bouncing, bouncing up off the road and on top of that the child on the ground unconscious and then he go and get a brick and drop on his head.
Gittens was a former student of the St. Leonard’s Boys’ Secondary School, and in addition to watching football, he enjoyed hanging with friends. One such friend was Andrew Alleyne, who had the dreaded responsibility of informing Cynthia of her son’s death.
Just minutes before the incident, Gittens was liming with Alleyne at his home, also in Union, and not far from where the altercation occurred in Belair. He said he would never forget his friend of many years and described him as a quiet, reserved, respectful, non-violent person.
“His opinion was ‘What for somebody he will get’, and he was always the first to walk away. I don’t know why or how it happened, I just know I lost a real good friend. It was hard seeing somebody you was just kicking with like that,” he said.
Gittens’ mother said she would always remember him as a very loving child — very endearing. She described him as the kind of child who would see her sitting alone and just give her a hug and say “Mum, you know I love you”.
“I don’t know how I feel because you have mixed emotions; sometimes I feel strong and then I go to his room and I see his clothes hanging there,” she said as she choked back tears, “and I see how neat he was and I see everything, it hits me that this is all here but he will never come back to wear these clothes.
“Then you realise that this thing is for real. Sometimes you sit and when you think about it, you find yourself crying.
“It is okay for people to tell you God is on the throne, yea we know God is on His throne but you don’t know sometimes I sit and the thoughts that go through my mind. The things that you think that you will do when you hear how he treated that boy.
“The things that go through my mind, like I tell myself sometimes I am 60 and I will be prepared to go and spend… The Lord say you are allotted three score years and ten — I would prepare to go and spend the other 10 in Dodds. That is how I feel. I wouldn’t do it but sometimes when you sit and think about it — I don’t like to think about it because the mere thought of it, honestly, if I could get not even a brick but a solid stone and find [the perpetrator] and do the same thing,” she added, as he sister consoled her.