Jamaica-There were mixed emotions yesterday as 89-year-old world-famous
botanist Dr George Proctor was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment each for
conspiracy to murder his wife and three other women who lived at the Proctors’
Proctor’s co-accused, Glenmore
Fillington, 44, of Lyn Avenue, Christiana, Manchester was sentenced to six
years’ imprisonment each on the four counts.
The sentences are to run
concurrently so Proctor will serve four years, while Fillington will serve six
Despite pleas from character
witnesses, including Dr Easton Lowe, that Proctor would not survive if he were
sent to prison, Supreme Court Judge Gloria Smith said she could not accede to a
non-custodial sentence, because the offences were serious.
Proctor, an American who had been
living and working in Jamaica since 1949, wept when he heard the sentence.
Fillington threw himself on the floor in the dock and wept.
“He should have thought of the
consequences,” one of Proctor’s daughters said in response to comments
from Proctor’s friends that the sentence was harsh.
Prosecutors Dirk Harrison and
Sanchia Burrell led evidence at the trial in the Home Circuit Court that,
between February and April 2006, the men conspired to murder 69-year-old Leila
Campbell Proctor and the three women. Dr Proctor had asked Fillington, his
driver, to get someone to murder his wife for $100,000 and Fillington got
Walden Simpson, who informed the police of the plot.
In response to the character
evidence given by Lowe, Professor Helen Jacobs, publisher Valerie Facey,
journalist John Maxwell and botanist Tracy Commock, the judge said she was not
going to downplay the importance of Dr Proctor’s career internationally or nationally,
his zest for living, his fun-loving nature, or his willingness to listen and
serve, but that there had to be a balance.