Serial killer, Michael McLean, has been given multiple life sentences for murdering six relatives in St. Thomas in 2006.
The sentences were handed down today in the Home Circuit Court in downtown, Kingston.
In front of a packed courtroom, a defeated McLean stood in the dock under heavy security as the sentences were read out by Supreme Court judge, Justice Bertram Morrison.
Among those who witnessed the end of the high profile case were family members of the deceased who journeyed from overseas for closure. The 51-year-old will serve 48-years in prison before being eligible for parole.
Judge Morrison handed down life sentences for each count of murder.
However, on each count the recommended time he should serve before being eligible for parole is 20 years. The first three counts are to run consecutively— that would add up to 60-years. The last three counts are to run concurrently— that would add up to 20-years.
However, both sentences will run concurrently meaning at the same time. The judge subtracted 12-years from McLean’s sentence for time already served in prison. This means he’ll be serving 48-years from his consecutive sentence while also serving 20-years from his concurrent sentence at the same time.
A number of factors were taken in consideration by Justice Morrison in his determination of the sentence given. This included the social enquiry report, a victim impact statement and a psychiatric report.
The social enquiry report outlined the views of residents of Duhaney Pen and Red Hills Pen in St. Thomas where McLean lived before he was taken into custody.
According to the report – some residents say apart from McLean’s aggressive tone when speaking with his spouse – he was a respectful man and a hard worker. They described him as a dangerous individual, one who uses money to attract a number of women. They shared that women gave testimonials about the experiences they had when they were in a relationship with McLean.
Such experiences they say included him beating them, dictating their movements each day, being locked in houses or in a barrel with holes for them to breath. The report also says McLean’s car was once damaged by a goat.
McLean, who didn’t know which of the goats was responsible for the damage to his car, grabbed a number of the animals and slashed their throats. The chilling social enquiry report was followed by an emotional victim statement read into evidence by Sharon Mohammed–mother of Patrice McCool.
The woman, who on a number of occasions broke down into tears, said the years can never erase the images that flash across her mind like a never-ending movie. The victims were killed 12 years ago. She questioned ‘Can you imagine how scared they all were? out there in the dark lonely bushes, our poor babies! Mothers, helpless against a beast snuffing the lives of their suckling kids. We still hear their screams in our heads.’
She says the events have left a psychological effect on her family members. This includes Terry Ann Mohammed’s brother who had to identify all the victims.
When McLean was asked if he had anything to say, he proclaimed his innocence. He alleges he didn’t get a fair trial or a real one. He also argued that the trial was a kangaroo court.
The convicted man says the case hasn’t been solved and they’re sending an innocent man to prison. Five of the deceased were found in St. Thomas with their throats slashed. The body of McLean’s girlfriend, Terryann Mohammed, was also burnt. The final victim, Jihad was found in St.Mary in a shallow grave. The high profile murder trial commenced on January 29 with the Prosecution calling twelve witnesses.
Meanwhile, reacting to the life sentences handed to McLean, Sharon Mohammed, the mother of one of the victims – Patrice McCool – says ‘justice has been served.’
Sharon Mohammed, mother of the deceased Patrice McCool and sister of Terry-Ann Mohammed.
Ms. McCool’s aunt, Sandra Mohammed, who also travelled from overseas says she hopes this sentence sends a message to other would-be killers.
They were speaking with the media following the sentencing of McLean this afternoon. The Director of Public Prosecutions, Paula Llewellyn who led the trial on behalf of the Crown says she’s also satisfied that the family members and the community believe justice has been served.