Police To Interview Friend Of Tortured UWI Student

(JAMAICA GLEANER) – The police are seeking to interview a female student of The University of the West Indies (UWI) whom they believe may have information about the alleged torturing of another student by her boyfriend inside his room on the Mona campus last week.

Head of the St Andrew Central police Senior Superintendent Marlon Nesbeth confirmed this latest update in the investigation that started with the discovery of the 19-year-old first year student at the George Alleyne Hall some time after 10 p.m. on February 9.

The police believe the woman was held captive for at least three days during which she was “tortured” with a clothing iron “and other stuff”.

“The person, from our information, shared a good rapport with both parties so may have had some idea of this [alleged torture] to be unfolded or being unfolded, we’re not certain which. As to the extent of them alerting anybody, we can’t say yet. It is quite possible that they did,” the senior policeman told The Gleaner on Monday.

That third student has reportedly retained a lawyer.

And Nesbeth said the probe has so far found allegations that the victim was accused by the 20-year-old man of infidelity on the day before “she was locked away” in his room. Both students reside on the hall.

Director of Security at The UWI, Mona, Norman Heywood, said one of the woman’s friends reached out to the office whose personnel later found her in a room assigned to the accused student on one of the hall’s senior blocks.

The case was then handed over to Nesbeth’s team.

Heywood, who was not present when the woman was found, said she was not bound but that “he locked and had her there”. “I understand she was very much afraid, shaken up, and there were some visible burn marks on her,” he said.

The man has been charged with assault occasioning grievous bodily harm and is expected to appear in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court this week.

The police are seeking advice from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions on whether other charges can be brought against him. He remains in custody after being charged on Friday.

The incident comes amid an acknowledgement from Campus Registrar Dr Donovan Stanberry that there’s been an uptick in intimate partner violence cases on the St Andrew-based campus.

“We are concerned because, like with the high schools and so on, since COVID-19, we have had increased incidents and we have to be very vigilant,” he said. Figures weren’t immediately provided.

Stanberry said disciplinary action is being pursued against the accused for misconduct as a student.

The UWI Mona Guild of Students has demanded a “full and thorough” investigation into the matter.

A report in yesterday’s Sunday Gleaner left many on social media in shock.