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CORONER’S FILE: Jilted lover takes death drink


ANTOINETTE CONNELL

CORONER’S FILE: Jilted lover takes death drink

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This new series gives in greater detail some of the verdicts delivered by Coroner Faith Marshall-Harris following hearings into unnatural deaths across the island.
Hugh Carmichael Alleyne, 27, of Alleyne School Gap, Belleplaine, St Andrew, died on June 9, 2005, on Ermie Bourne Highway.
Alleyne, a marijuana user, was reportedly having problems with his girlfriend Kim of three years, who was apparently involved in another relationship, and only came to him, usually on payday, when she wanted money. That was the only time she visited his home.
Alleyne took out a bank loan to purchase back-to-school supplies for her children, although they were not his, as well as to purchase a car for her.
As a result he was always broke and had to borrow money from others, even in order to get to his work at the Ministry of Transport and Works.
On the day of his death he visited his mother and sister. Alleyne lived on his own in a small house not far away from them. On that occasion he wanted to borrow money in order to visit his girlfriend Kim. He also used the telephone to call her, after which he appeared dejected.
His sister Alisha Alleyne was of the view that Kim had rejected him as he had told her on previous occasions of this type of reaction whenever he tried to visit Kim.
After the call he complained: “I want to go up by she and she telling me a lot of foolishness. Every time I want to go and look for she, she leaving home.”
In fact, Alisha Alleyne stated that given the matters he had confided about the relationship, it appeared he loved Kim, but Kim did not love him but merely used him for money. He said he could not take it, he gave her everything she wanted and she was involved with someone else.
He would complain repeatedly of Kim’s bad treatment and yet continued in the relationship. He would often speak of ending his life to his friends on the block, saying that he had AIDS until eventually, one of them, one Romane Greene, got fed up with the talk and on the day of his death dared him to do it.
Greene allegedly gave him $10 and told him that if he was going to kill himself go and buy some poison. Alleyne’s nephew, Kevin Williams, was also on the block at the time and took the money away from Alleyne and returned it to Greene.
Kevin Williams also recalled that on January 2004 Alleyne had a blood test and subsequently told him he had AIDS. After that, Williams said he noticed a change in Alleyne’s behaviour and he would visit him to keep his spirits up.
However, Williams did not believe Alleyne really had AIDS as he would say things like that to the boys on the block and it would turn out to be untrue. He said Alleyne’s real problem was Kim and her treatment of him.
Another friend from the block, Mark Springer, who often heard Alleyne’s threats, recounted how Alleyne repeated this to him on the day of his death and that he joined with others to take away the $10.
As a result, Springer and Alleyne got into an argument with Alleyne asking why Springer would not stay out of his business.
Springer told the court that he said to Alleyne that it did not feel good to see him just throw away his life over Kim. Alleyne walked away from him in anger going in the direction of the supermarket.
Kevin Williams told his sister Tricia of this development on the block and she hurried towards the block. She encountered Alleyne walking very fast and she shouted after him, enquiring what was happening. He shouted back that he wanted to get off the face of the earth.
She tried to talk to him but he hurried away. She asked one of her cousins to follow him to see where he was going and he reported to her that Alleyne had gone back up the road.
She went to her grandmother’s house, that is Alleyne’s mother, she was on the phone, so she left again. Tricia Williams then heard a loud cry as if someone was in pain and she went in the direction of the sound.
In the interim, Alleyne had gone into Belleplaine Supermarket. He was seen stooping down in the aisle where pesticides and herbicides were displayed.
Shortly thereafter, he was heard by one of the patrons of the supermarket, Michael Gittens, telling a youngster standing outside the supermarket: “I now went and do the thing.”
Gittens, who knew of Alleyne’s threats of suicide, became suspicious and went back into the supermarket and spoke to one of the cashiers, asking her to check the shelf with the pesticides and herbicides to see if anything had been used.
Antoinette Selman, a supervisor in the supermarket, also saw Alleyne come in, walk around the cashier and go to a particular shelf, where he bent down. She thought nothing of it until alerted by another customer that Alleyne had done something unusual.
That customer told her that Alleyne had opened a bottle and drunk from it. Selman then went to the shelf and saw a bottle of Touch Down herbicide with the seal broken and half of its contents missing.
She called the police and handed over the bottle to them, the contents of which subsequently tested positive for an organic phosphorus compound.
Tricia Williams, having hurried to where she had heard this loud shout of pain found Alleyne lying in the middle of the highway.
She shouted to him to “get up, a bus is coming!” Alleyne rolled from side to side and did not respond. While she was using her cellphone to call an ambulance Alleyne stopped moving.
He was pronounced dead on the spot. His stomach contents however tested negative for the presence of paraquat or organic phosphorus compound. It was pointed out by the toxicologist that tests on stomach contents alone are not conclusive, as the active ingredient in Touch Down could be difficult to analyse with respect to stomach contents.
Summary
According to family and his friends on the block, Alleyne had spoken of killing himself many times. In fact Springer said Alleyne had been saying this all that week immediately preceding his death.
The entire neighbourhood knew that this was because of his disastrous relationship and the money problems which had developed as a result of his pursuit of that relationship. They would all lend him money and advise him against blindly pursuing the relationship. He did not heed their advice.
Although the stomach contents tested negative for the presence of the herbicide, he was observed to have gone to the area where it was kept in the supermarket.
The bottle was afterwards seen to have been tampered with and some of its contents consumed. There is a reasonable presumption that Alleyne did consume the herbicide.
The post mortem report indicated death was as a result of ingestion of herbicide.
Verdict: Suicide.

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