Common law husband questioned in Jamaica deaths

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Albert Scott, the common-law husband of Angella Smith, who was shot and then burnt along with her three grandchildren in her one-room board house in Land Top, Port Morant, in St Thomas on the weekend, was questioned by police Tuesday in relation to the gruesome incident.

Addressing questions during a press conference at the Ministry of National Security in New Kingston, deputy commissioner of police in charge of crime, Mark Shields, declined to say why Scott was of interest to the police.

“It is still very early stages and we will do everything we possibly can to bring those responsible to justice,” he said.

According to police reports, about 11pm Sunday, Lynch’s house was saturated with an inflammable liquid before a person or persons kicked off the door to the dwelling and shot Lynch. The house was subsequently set ablaze. Scott, who was at the house at the time, escaped the attack.

In the end, the charred remains of two-year-old Niasha Cousins, five-year-old Thaila Cousins and three-year-old Jawara Cousins and their grandmother, Lynch, were found. The children had spent the Christmas holidays with Lynch and were to start school in St Thomas.

Shields is positive about closing the case soon.

“The people of the community I am sure, because it’s a rural area, I am positive the people in the community will have information about what led up to that incident. Things like that just don’t happen,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Children’s Advocate has condemned the attack.

“Our deepest sympathy goes out to the wider community during this time of grief,” a statement from the agency said.

The agency also expressed its condolences to Aretha Smith, the mother of the three deceased children.

The office is encouraging adults to take responsibility for protecting their children from falling victim to acts of crime, which may arise from conflicts between adults.

“Too many children have lost their lives because of alleged conflict between adults … no child should have to pay because adults fail to resolve their differences amicably,” the agency said.