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Stabroek News

Gay rights activist's killer gets life
published: Sunday | May 21, 2006

Barbara Gayle, Staff Reporter

THE MAN who pleaded guilty last month to the murder of founding member of the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All Sexuals and Gays, 59-year-old Brian Williamson, has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Mr. Justice Basil Reid, in passing sentence, recommended that 25-year-old Dwight Hayden should serve 15 years before he was eligible for parole.

Hayden who is also called 'Dog' and 'Swong' of Myers Street, Jones Town, Kingston, held down his head as the sentence was passed.

Williamson was stabbed and chopped some 70 times in his apartment in New Kingston on June 7, 2004.

Hayden who knew the deceased, went to the apartment and asked for money. He was accompanied by a man called 'Bom Head'. The deceased let them inside and offered them bottles of Guinness stout. The deceased promised to give Hayden the money later that day but both men chopped and stabbed him to death. They stole a chest from the apartment.

HATE CRIME

Amnesty International has taken a keen interest in the case and had described Williamson's murder as a hate crime because of the group in which he was involved.

Dr. Randolph Williams who represented Hayden, asked the judge to be lenient because Hayden had shown remorse from the time he was arrested. He said Hayden confessed to the crime when he gave his cautioned statement and also pleaded guilty.

Dr. Williams said that there was tremendous violence at the time of the incident. He referred to the psychiatric report which stated that Hayden, was involved in substance abuse, namely crack cocaine up to 2002.

The judge in passing sentence said that the sentence should reflect the seriousness of the crime. He said further, that the sentence should also show that a person who pleaded guilty could expect consideration for the guilty plea.

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