A man from the Linstead area of St. Catherine who spent the last 50 years in prison without trial, is adjusting speedily in his home community following his release on Wednesday, June 24.
George Williams was charged with Murder committed in July 1970 at Mount Rosser in St. Catherine. He also was charged with Wounding With Intent, and Malicious Destruction Of Property.
However, he was deemed unfit to plead.
The prosecution alleged that Williams threw a stone into the windshield of a car that was transporting a Canadian family, including Ian Laurie. The family exited the vehicle, and Williams allegedly stabbed and killed Laurie, and wounded a woman.
He eventually was brought before the court, but he ended up languishing in the penal system without being allowed to plead.
The Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), in a recent report, mentioned Williams among a number of mentally ill people in prison without trial for decades.
A human rights group, Stand Up For Jamaica, subsequently acquired the services of lawyer Isat Buchanan to secure freedom for Williams.
When the matter was mentioned in the St. Catherine Parish Court on Wednesday, Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn ended criminal proceedings against Williams on the basis that he is still not fit to plead.
Since then, Stand Up For Jamaica has promised to help 71-year-old Williams pursue a lawsuit against Government.
Williams, shortly after being released on Wednesday, was taken straight to his Linstead hometown.
People in his community of Ivy, located in the Linstead area, are happy to see him again, said his niece Pamella Green.
She told The Beacon: “The people are happy to see him. A lot of people came out the evening when we reached home with him. People who didn’t know him came out and greeted him also. People who know me and always hear me talking about my uncle came out and gave us the support. Everything is OK.”
The niece further stated that Williams has been asking for some of the people he left behind five decades ago, but he was told that some are no longer around.
Williams spent his first full day of post-prison freedom soaking up the tranquility of his rural district – and pleasing his taste-buds with things he hadn’t eaten in decades.
“He is enjoying his mango; he said it is 53 years now that he didn’t eat a mango,” said the niece. “Honestly, I was surprised to see how he adjusts so easily. He is doing fine; he is doing pretty pretty fine.”
The niece added that the family is prepared to ensure that Williams gets the required medication and check-ups. “Everything is in tact,” she assured.
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