As family members and relatives of the six young women who perished in the Campus Trendz fire nearly six years ago discussed today’s guilty verdict handed down against Jamar Dewayne Bynoe, they could not agree whether or not he should die by hanging.
And those in favour of Bynoe facing the executioner had little confidence that he would be put to death.
Bynoe, 25, was today found guilty of murdering Shanna Griffith, Kelly-Ann Welch, Pearl Cornelius, Kellishaw Olivierre, Nikita Belgrave and Tiffany Harding by setting fire to the Tudor Street boutique following a robbery on September 3, 2010. He was sentenced to die by hanging.
Following the verdict, Tiffany’s loved ones gathered at the Upper Collymore Rock, St Michael house where she lived with her grandmother Cecily Harding, who is abroad at present.
They were having a passionate discussion about the sentence, most agreeing that the convicted killer should not be allowed to live, even though they were cognisant that the last hanging took place here in 1984.
“He want hanging, but he ain’t getting hang. He going back to jail and that is home for he. After spending some time in there, he gine become a trustee.
“Eat bread, get fat, and live sweet off of taxpayers’ money. That is what he will get for killing six sweet girls that ain’t coming back to them family,” Tiffany’s cousin Michael Harding said.
Another cousin, Waveney Williams, was not in court when the verdict was handed down. She said she would have been there had she known about it because she wanted to see the face of the man who killed her cousin after he learned of his fate. Williams said nearly six years later they still mourn Tiffany’s passing.
“We miss Tiffany so bad everyday. She used to be here with we liming and thing. This is five years now we missing she. But, that is life. I have to call the aunt overseas and let her tell the grandmother [about the verdict],” Williams said.
Over at Wellington Street, The City, Kellishaw’s aunt Althea Hadaway pondered the verdict.
Like Tiffany’s relatives, she believed that justice would only be served if Bynoe were executed. However, she was doubtful.
“They don’t really hang in this country, so I am hoping that it actually happens because at least that would bring a little peace. He did this to people that were trying to do their job,” Hadaway told Barbados TODAY.
However, Doriel Skinner, the spokesperson for Shana’s family, was of the opinion that the convicted killer should not be hanged.
Skinner did not say whether or not he believed in the death penalty, but he felt the punishment would be greater and the satisfaction sweeter if Bynoe were to live with the burden of killing six young women for “a handful of dollars”.
“Let him live and suffer through it as these families are doing right now. Right now I don’t feel anyway for him, and that is from my heart.
“So hang him, leave him there, whatever. My concern is for Shanna’s family because they live with it everyday,” Skinner stressed.
It was Nikkita’s father Gordon Cummins who summed up the sentiments of those who feared that Bynoe would never be put to death for his crimes.
Cummins today recalled the last words his daughter spoke to him as she left their Shop Hill, St Thomas home that September evening.
“Dad I’m gone,” he repeated to Barbados TODAY as he deliberated on the time it took to get to this point.
And, Cummins concluded, the sentence was a waste of time.
“Hang what? Them ain’t hanging them. Them up there getting treat good like the rest,” the father said.
“The sentence can’t take away the memory of she telling me she gone and then next thing I down Baxter’s Road and she in a building dead,” Cummins added.