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Dream now a nightmare


MARLON MADDEN

Dream now a nightmare

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George Clarke, 66, was living his childhood dream on the morning of February 14, when he was brutally attacked and left for dead.During his 40 years in the United States, Clarke purchased over six acres of land in his homeland Barbados. He planned on his  return to take up farming – for which he had a passion since he was a boy. And farmer he became about five years ago.Then on Valentine’s Day of this year, Clarke woke early to tend his Sandford Manor, St Philip farm of livestock and crops, ensuring everything was in place for the sale of pigs scheduled that morning.But according to his brother Bertram “Bertie”, that sale never took place. George was found by the would-be buyer or buyers lying in his own blood in one of the pig pens. That was sometime between 6 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.After months of pain, depression and many unanswered questions, Bertram has offered a reward for the capture of his brother’s attacker or attackers.Bertram, who now resides in Canada, said that a few months before the tragedy George was “occasionally” losing some of his animals and crops.Really bad“Mainly it was the animals. Recently, it got really bad. One night he lost ten piglets and a few weeks later about six Blackbelly sheep. The [stealing] eventually got George quite fed up. “He would call me. He said he was thinking about giving up his farming because it wasn’t worth it any longer – too much theft was going on,” Bertram said.He describes his brother as compassionate, helpful and generous.“He is a serious task master. If he hires you to do a job, he expects you to do it. And he would hire anybody regardless of their character or reputation. All he wanted from them was to do what he hiredthem to do. “He is forgiving. He would still give you a chance if you were even dishonest. And that might have been his downfall – I don’t know. He could be mad or disgusted with you in the morning and he would buy you a drink in the evening.” Obviously shaken and upset over the incident, Bertram said he considered his brother’s three months in hospital an unduly long time. “The police don’t seem to have anything concrete to arrest anybody; so that is one of the reasons I got in touch with the Nation. I am putting out a reward. “Hopefully the public can help in bringing the person or persons who did that to my brother to justice,” Bertram pleaded. He added: “The family is offering $10 000 to anyone with any information that leads to the arrest, conviction or successful prosecution of the person or persons who committed the act. My brother is still suffering.”George has been in the Intensive Care Unit of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for the past six weeks. He suffered a fractured skull by his attackers, and is not speaking.A saddened Bertram said: “George cannot respond to any questions. So he is still in a serious condition, as far as I am concerned.”George’s wife Cicely and his three daughters reside in the United States where they all work. However, they have taken turns visiting their loved one since the attack.“I came in from Canada because [George’s] daughters ran out of time,” Bertram explained. “They had to go back to work. So I am spending a month here, and hopefully he is able to travel at the time when I am leaving. “He came back to retire and do what he always wanted to – have a farm,” Bertram said with a sigh. With tears welling up in his eyes once more, the 68-year-old man said: “I was told that if he was found a hour later he would have died. His memory at the moment is gone, and I don’t know if he will ever get it back. “He had about five operations already. He was even gathering fluid in his brain. It is sad because I know how kind he is and how hard he works.”Never muggedGeorge was the owner and president of Apex Boiler Repairs & Welding Corporation in New York before he retired a few years ago.According to Bertram, George was in Bronx, New York, and was “never even mugged; but look what happened to him here. He almost lost his life; and probably he doesn’t even have a good quality of life left”.Inspector David Welch confirmed that police investigations were still ongoing. And while he could not speak to how close they were to capturing the person or persons responsible or how advanced the investigations were, he stated that any new information was always welcome.“A crime has been committed,” said Welch, “so the investigations will continue even if [George Clarke] leaves the island.”

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