Residents of one St Philip community say they are living in fear, following a “horrific” early morning aggravated burglary last weekend that left one elderly resident hospitalized with broken limbs.
Police have confirmed that 83-year-old Colleen Jackman of Harmony Lodge remains warded at the state-run Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where she is being treated for various injuries about the body following Sunday night’s brutal attack by two unidentified perpetrators, who apparently made off with an undisclosed sum of money.
The incident is the latest to occur in the southern division, which remains a hotbed for crime, with Superintendent in the Southern Division Eucklyn Thompson reporting just over a month ago that at least 16 of the 28 murders this year had occurred in that division, in which over 50 young people were also charged with serious offences such as aggravated burglary, theft, gun related crimes, illegal drugs and rape.
With over 86 cases of gun related crimes, 24 cases of serious bodily harm and 440 cases of illegal drugs said to have occurred in the southern communities this year, residents of Harmony Lodge were nonetheless caught off guard by last weekend’s attack.
“I born out here, I am 59 years [old] and nothing like this never happen out here. This ain’t that kind of neighbourhood,” said one resident, who was still in disbelief over Sunday’s incident.
In fact, he suggested that Jackman, who lived abroad but has been back home for over two decades, was not the type to even harm a fly.
“She would come here and get she hair plait and would talk to everybody good. You could have asked her for anything,” he told Barbados TODAY this morning while scratching his head for answers as to why anyone would want to harm the woman.
The distressed resident, who did not want to be identified by name, said while Jackman lived alone and has no close relatives on the island, “the community was her family [and] we does look out for each other”.
However, as soon as their backs were turned on Sunday morning, Jackman’s home was invaded sometime around 3 a.m.
While details of the incident are still sketchy, neighbours today reported that the senior citizen was left bloodied and bruised following the attack in which the thieves ransacked her home in their quest to find cash and other hidden valuables.
Today, another neighbour, who also did not want to be identified by name, said he was particularly concerned because Jackman was still recovering from a stroke.
“She had not too long come out the hospital and the side she suffered the stroke on is the same side they [the assailants] broke her leg on. It’s broken in two places. They brek she up,” he told Barbados TODAY, adding that when he visited Jackman at the QEH this week her face was still swollen and her mouth was bleeding.
However, he said despite the incident, the elderly woman, whose lone daughter resides in the United States, was eager to return to her St Philip home.
“We just come from cleaning her house because she couldn’t come back home to that. In there was a mess, every last thing was scattered. Every drawer overturned and there was blood all on the bed, on the floors, on the walls. I still can’t believe it,” he said, shaking his head to emphasize his disbelief, adding that the incident had left the neighbourhood fearful.
“Everybody had their lights on last night, whole night. Everybody is more cautious now. Place lock up tight, tight. They are scared, and it is sad,” he said.