A manslayer returned before the High Court recently and pleaded guilty to a charge of arson.
Terry Cassius Seale, a tractor operator, from No. 27 Groves Crescent, St George admitted to destroying the house of the late Moreta Forde by fire on October 30, 2014.
Seale, who is in his late 50s, is currently serving an 18-year sentence for murdering Forde – a former Cable & Wireless employee – between October 30 and 31 that year. He was charged for murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
He appeared before Justice Randall Worrell during a virtual sitting of the No. 2 Supreme Court where Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Alliston Seale detailed what occurred on that day with regards to the arson charge.
The prosecutor said a neighbour who lived in the same Fisherpond, St Thomas area as Forde was returning home around 2:30 a.m., when he noticed her residence was on fire and alerted others in the neighbourhood. They approached the burning structure and soon realized Forde was unaccounted for. They entered the building and retrieved her body from the house which was extensively damaged by fire.
Months later – on February 5, 2014 – police were on duty around 7 p.m. along a track in Easy Hall, St John when they saw Seale walking. They stopped him and identified themselves but before they could say anything further Seale took a bottle from his pocket and drank a substance. He allegedly told police the substance was poisonous. The bottle contained liquid and blue pellets.
Seale was arrested and transported him to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for treatment.
Three days later at a police station they told him of his rights and questioned him about the arson. “My right is that I will make a statement . . . . I feel free speaking at this moment without a lawyer . . . I free to speak about it . . . I did it.”
He then dictated a statement to lawmen, in which he explained that he and Forde were discussing a very touchy personal health issue on the day but her response did not sit well with him.
“With the answer she give me, true vexation and anger,” said the convict who admitted to slashing her throat with a knife. He said she fell to the ground after he hit her.
“I take up a cigarette and light it and drop the lighter with the expectation that it was out and I ran away from the scene with fright.”
The case against the convicted man who is represented by attorney-at-law Angella Mitchell-Gittens will continue before Justice Worrell on April 30.