Two ministers – one a cabinet minister and another a minister of religion – urged Cayman Islands residents to remain calm in light of the charges against two Jamaican men in connection with the murder of Estella Scott-Roberts.
Red Bay Church of God Holiness Pastor Bob Thompson, who is also the president of the Cayman Islands Ministers Association, warned against reprisals toward other members of the Jamaican community in Cayman.
‘Lashing out against an entire community is a very immature way of reacting,’ he said
‘Violence has a way of producing more violence and that is only bad for the community.’
Mr. Thompson said Jamaicans make up the second largest group in the Red Bay Church of God Holiness congregation, behind only Caymanians.
‘[Jamaicans] are some of the best people in my congregation,’ he said.
Pastor Thompson acknowledged the damage caused by Mrs. Scott-Robert’s murder, beyond the impact to her family and friends.
‘This has violated our whole community,’ he said. ‘I have ladies coming to me from our church saying that, for the first time, they are scared of living here.
‘We need a sense of safety restored to our people.’
Mr. Thompson said it was important for the courts to have the courage to bring about a sense of judgment.
‘As Christians, we should pray that our courts will bring this sense of justice,’ he said. ‘Justice that is not seen is justice not perceived.’
Minister of Health Anthony Eden also urged against backlash against other Jamaicans in Cayman.
‘We should not judge other people based on what one or two other individuals have done,’ he said. ‘I condemn the [murder], but I would never condone, from a Christian aspect, any adverse actions toward [Jamaicans].’
Mr. Eden noted the important historical ties between Caymanians and Jamaicans, and how one Jamaican doctor seemingly took care of the whole island years ago.
‘Some of my best friends are Jamaicans,’ he said. ‘I wouldn’t want to hear of anyone taking actions against that nationality.
‘This [crime] needs to stand on its own.’
Mr. Eden also said people should ‘be guarded with the words they use’ when talking about the murder, especially in forums like radio talk shows, so as not to incite reprisals against the Jamaican community in Cayman.
Jamaican Consulate responds.
The office of the Honorary Jamaican Government representative in the Cayman Islands issued a press release yesterday on the charges against the two Jamaicans.
‘The vicious killing of Estella Scott-Roberts left the entire Cayman and Jamaican community in shock and with a sense of devastating loss,’ the statement said. ‘No reason would be sufficiently adequate to explain the monstrous act committed on a person who was a dedicated advocate against abuse on women and children.
‘Today, the Jamaican community is outraged and embarrassed to learn that two Jamaican nationals were charged for this heinous crime. The callous disregard for human life has inflicted pain, suffering and profound grief on the family of Mrs. Scott-Roberts as well as on her friends and acquaintances to whom we extend our deepest condolences.
‘Words cannot fully express the depth of our despair,’ the statement read.
The statement also commended the Royal Cayman Islands Police for its diligence and investigative skills in the case.
‘Let us also be reminded that notwithstanding the nationality of the individuals charged in this case, there are many Jamaicans in Cayman who are honest and law abiding. Both Caymanians and Jamaicans who knew Mrs. Scott-Roberts have experienced a tremendous loss.
‘We ask God’s continued blessing and healing on the people of these islands.’