IT MATTERS TO MARIA: Ten years on, mum still feels the pain
THE MOTHER of a police officer who was killed in a vehicle accident ten years ago, wants to know what has become of the case involving the man accused of unlawfully killing her son.
Constable Henry Bernard Jackman died in a horrific vehicle crash on May 26, 2008, at Bagatelle, St Thomas, as he was riding his police motorcycle to work. Lorry driver Trevor Corbin, of Chapel Land, St Philip, was charged with causing Jackman’s death by driving his truck in a manner dangerous to the public.
For 70-year-old Leverette Jackman, the long delay in bringing a conclusion to this case has become overbearing.
Last month when she visited her son’s graveside, as she has done every year for the past decade, she was overcome with emotions as she comforted her ten-year-old grandson Omario, who broke down in tears as he laid flowers on his father’s grave.
He was born three months after his dad died.
“When I saw the tears in that child’s eyes,” Jackman said, “I told him this is ten years your daddy got killed; I haven’t heard anything, so I am going to call the NATION newspaper.”
Sitting at her dining room table at the house she shared with her only child in Farm Road, St Peter, Jackman said she did not know where else to turn.
“I wrote the Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith last year and he wrote me back. He also called me on the telephone. He said, ‘Miss Jackman, your son was a nice boy and anytime you want to talk to me you can call’.”
Remembering that fateful day when she received a telephone call informing that her 39-year-old son was involved in an accident, Jackman said he had just left home early that morning heading to work at District “A” Police Station.
“It was Police Week,” she noted. “They used to let him bring the motorcycle home because they say he used to be on time for work and anytime they want something do, they could call on him. He was the kind of person that if he was at lunch, he didn’t use to say this is my lunch hour; he use to go and do it.”
On her arrival at the accident scene, she immediately broke down on seeing the body.
“My son was there lying down with all he face lick up,” she cried. “There were so many police in khaki standing there crying.”
At that time she was comforted by the outpouring of support she received from the force and the positive sentiments made about her son, whom she called a dedicated police officer.
“Mr [Darwin] Dottin, the former Commissioner of Police, called me and he told me when he heard it, he could not believe Henry had died, and Mr Leonard Brome, who was in charge of my son’s team, he also came and spoke to me.”
Every year since then, she faithfully goes to his graveside on his birthday, Father’s Day, Christmas and the anniversary of his death.
Accidents, especially those involving police officers, usually bring back painful memories of her son’s demise.
Jackman admitted it had been hard coping, but she still had a core group of family and friends who checked on her almost on a daily basis.
She sadly recalled one day when the pain became so overbearing that she went into a “trance”.
“At one time I use to cry every day. I remember one day I was crying and when I catch myself, I like I went into a trance. I didn’t know what was going on and when I come out of it, all I could say was, ‘Lord, I thank you for bringing me back’. I said, ‘Lord, my only child is gone but I have to keep strong for his children’.”
She pointed out that her other grandson Shaquille, who was 14 when his father died, also had a rough time coping with his death.
“I hear about all of this delay in the court system and so on, but all I want to know is what is going on with the case involving my son. This is ten years and I cannot hear anything at all.”
When contacted, Commissioner Griffith said the matter was before the court.
“Some person has been charged in that matter and obviously it is ten years. Matters are being dismissed less than two years old when there is no file, but there is a file in relation to that matter,” he stated.
“I don’t run the court and that is a matter that is best taken up with the court. It is not in our hands.” (MB)