THE people who beat Ashdale Mc Hutchinson into a state of unconsciousness on Wednesday last week, may find themselves at the centre of a criminal investigation after he died at hospital on Sunday.
Homicide officers told Newsday that depending on the result of an autopsy today, a murder investigation would most likely be started with the main suspects being the gang of people who exacted “vigilante justice” on Mc Hutchinson.
Since his death, relatives are calling for those who chased, stripped naked, hog tied, robbed and beat him to be brought to justice. Relatives said 49-year-old Mc Hutchinson was no paedophile, as was purported by his attackers, but was a caring and hard-working man.
“My brother did not deserve to be killed like an animal,” said Anika Mc Hutchinson, one of his three sisters. “And then they telling a pack of lies to tarnish his name just so they could feel better. They were calling him a vagrant and a rapist, but they robbed him of his new phone and brand new Fila sneakers and left him in his boxers.”
Mc Hutchinson’s 72-year-old mother Jeanette Mc Hutchinson, said she is leaving the matter in God’s hands.
“I wasn’t there and I don’t know what went on, but if is one thing, I don’t like people to lie. And I know my son wasn’t involved in them kinds of things at all (sic). But I forgive them for doing what they did, and I forgive them for lying. I find it is unfair what was done to him. Don’t say someone did this, and that is why you did that, it is still wrong.”
Newsday was told by relatives that Mc Hutchinson was at a relative’s home in Oropune Gardens and was liming and drinking until about 7 pm when he asked a family member to direct him to a parlour so he could get a cigarette. While searching for the parlour, he met a child and, while talking to the child, he was approached by a woman who allegedly accused him of trying to lure the child away. There was a struggle between the two and Mc Hutchinson eventually fled to nearby bushes.
A group of people set fire to the bush to flush Mc Hutchinson out. When he eventually ran out, he was grabbed by the gang and beaten mercilessly while police were called.
Police took him to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, but by 11 am on Sunday he was declared dead.
Newsday was told that he was a loader at the Mayaro market and lived with, and cared for, his mother in Bon Air Gardens, Arouca.
One relative recalled Mc Hutchinson won $10,000 in a Play Whe draw and gave it away to relatives and friends.
Newsday was told that his charitable nature was one of the reasons his family planned to donate his kidneys to the hospital, but because of complications doctors could not remove them.
“Knowing the kind of person he was and how we lost him in a violent way, we wanted a part of him to live on,” said one relative. “He had no biological children, so we could have said he was still living out there. And even though we were going through our pain, we wanted something good to come out of this. His blood pressure was too low, so they could not take his kidneys. But we tried. We really wanted it to happen.”
Prakash Ramadhar, MP for St Augustine, condemned the vigilante act saying it was a sign of the state of crime in the country and the desperation people felt while seeking to protect themselves from criminal elements. He expressed condolences to Mc Hutchinson’s family. He reminded the public that while the law allows for citizens to detain people who seem to pose a threat to the public’s safety, taking the law into their own hands and using excessive force is illegal.
“I am asking citizens to abide by the law and not seek to fight crime by themselves (and in doing so) committing criminal acts. Abusing or attacking someone without proof or investigation is also an injustice.”