A qualified apology by Minister of State in the Ministry of the People, Vernella Alleyne-Toppin, over comments she made about People’s National Movement (PNM) leader Dr Keith Rowley has failed to q
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Mourners urged not to avenge murder
Even as armed policemen stood guard outside the La Romaine church yesterday, mourners were urged not to revenge the killings of brothers Maurice and Randy Leshmore and their brother-in-law Kwasi Vincent. The triple funeral for the childhood friends, described as inseparable, brought tears to men, women and children, who packed the Church of God of Prophecy. The three white caskets were carried from the brothers’ home to the church, a stone’s throw away at Pond Street.
The three were gunned down on Sunday at a relative’s house at Pond Street. A fourth man was also shot and remains warded at the San Fernando General Hospital. Before the eulogy and tributes, Bishop Pooran Sankar asked mourners to refrain from making comments which would stir emotions to “make a bad situation worse.” Asking for unity in the family, Hyacinth “Brother Base” Thomas, father of the Leshmore brothers, said what happened was as a result of what is taking place in society. He said blame cannot be cast on anyone.
“We can’t even blame the fellas who put them in the box there. They are victims of circumstances.” Describing them as his million dollar babies, Thomas asked mourners to pray for their souls and use what has happened to make peace in the family. Dillion, he said, was a strong protector of his family while Maurice was a man of faith.
In his sermon, Sankar urged the community to lift themselves up from this tragedy. “Seize this moment, don’t blame anybody, any victimisation. Bitterness will do us no good.” He said it would be easy to stereotype and stigmatise Pond Street, but residents there were good and loving people. Saying teachers, nurses and law enforcement came from the community, he said: “It’s not about condemning or laying blame...We must not let them die in vain.” He said from his knowledge the three deceased men were believers in God.
MacKeisha, the Leshmore brothers’ sister, recalled that Maurice worked hard to provide for his son. Dillion, she said, was never in any fights or trouble with the law. Outside the church, three hearses blared conscious music as the caskets were brought out in single file.
The trio was buried at Rambath cemetery where there was also a strong police presence.