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Children held for fire attack on homeless man in Jamaica

November 2nd 2010

Over recent issues, The Pavement has charted the worrying and sickening rise in attacks on homeless people, particularly in the US. From the eight in 10 rough sleepers in America who have been victims of crime (you can search our website for these archive stories), to Ralph Millward, who was killed by three teenagers on our own streets, it seems homeless people across the world are increasingly becoming targets of violence. In the US, laws are even being passed to classify such attacks as hate crimes.

But, inevitably, such incidents are not confined to the US or UK. In Jamaica, three children were recently remanded in custody following the death of a homeless man who was set on fire.

According to reports in the Jamaica Observer, Lionel Maitland, 54, was asleep on The Pavement outside a supermarket in Montego Bay, Jamaica, on 11 September when the horrific attack took place.

One of the three children, aged 13, was charged with murder, while the remaining two - plus two others who were charged but instead held at a children's home - were charged as "uncontrollable juveniles". Their ages range between eight and 12.

All but one of their parents were also remanded after being charged with child neglect. Both the children and adults were scheduled to reappear at the Montego Bay Family Court on 6 October.

Following the attack, Mr Maitland - who is reported to have had mental health issues - was taken to the Cornwall Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. A post mortem later revealed that he died from severe burns.

As with similar incidents in the UK, the attack doesn't appear to be a one off. Earlier this year, for example, the Jamaica Observer received reports of a gang of 10-16 young people beating up homeless and mentally-ill people at night in Kingston, and sometimes setting fire to them or their cardboard boxes.

However, the incident has provoked at least one call for more to be done to help the homeless in Jamaica with Joy Crooks, the administrator for the Committee for the Upliftment of the Mentally Ill (CUMI) in Montego Bay, reportedly blasting the government's provision of mental health care for the homeless.


November 2010



London's hub

Why Rochester Row?

Over 1,800 convicted under Vagrancy Act

Estimates of ex-service homelessness exaggerated, claims charity

Gone, but not forgotten

A thousand cuts

Boris slammed by homelessness charity

Big Society event

Sleep outs spark debate

Homeless charities gear up for cuts

Children held for fire attack on homeless man in Jamaica

Housing associations treble surpluses

Homeless hate crime passed in Florida

Homeless tours of London

Punks party for the homeless

In from the cold

Ex-homeless Mr England

Housing benefit help

Council strategy restricts emergency beds

First new council homes in a generation

Evictions fall by a third

New changes to housing law

Churches charity urges government to meet housing targets

World Aids Day - 1 December

Could cuts see the return of hostels?

Street Shield 18: A mystery to solve


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© Copyright 2009-2014 The Pavement. Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656 Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760 ISSN (online) 1757-0484