gall and gumption

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The End of a Career

The Commissioner of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force, Robert Jeffers, confirmed to me yesterday afternoon that Philmore Seaton Philmore Seaton was killed by police after (according to police) after trying to steal a woman's cell phone at gunpoint on the night of March 7.

I found out about it because of Larissa, a commenter in Basseterre whose house had been burgled by Seaton on Monday. I am very grateful to Larissa because had she not posted her story here I might never have known.

Hey, I am from St. Kitts and my house was broken into on Monday, in the same area where you lived. Let me tell you how this went down. Last week Thursday, I woke up around 2:30 a.m... I then began texting my boyfriend because i couldnt sleep. I then heard my gate outside open...which is very squeeky... and my little dog outside began barking. I knew that someone had to be in my yard for the way my dog was behaving... I am not as brave as you i guess... my body started shaking like crazy and i called my mother on her cell phone who was just in the next room because i was afraid to leave my room. She confirmed that she is hearing shuffling outside that couldnt be my dog cuz the dog was in her room. after my dog got quiet for a few seconds, i swear i heard whispering outside. My mom got up and turned on the lights and we looked out the windows and saw nothing... only the gate wide open. My boyfriend was asking that i called the cops and i should have, but my mom was like naahh its no biggy.

My first night in St. Kitts I heard whispering outside of my house, but I thought it was maybe due to travel, stress, etc.

I came home for lunch the following monday... around 1.30pm and walked into a ramsacked house. My entire home was upside down. My Xbox game system was gone, my digital camera that holds many cherished pictures, my camcorder which hold video files of my vacationing in the Bahamas, my best friend's wedding etc, my jewelry, my laptop, and money was all gone. The back window of my house was broken out. The perpetrator(s) must have been in my house for hours because they found keys to open safes and went through every single detail of my house.
I called the police and it took my about 45 minutes to get service. I called the first time and was transferred to the CID dept where no one answered, I called 911 and no one picked up, I called again and finally got someone after practically cussing at them. The police took after a half hour to arrive on the scene. They didnt even walk with anything to take fingerprints!
I asked if they had no intentions of taking finger prints. They then left to collect someone to do so and came back. They found fingerprints but never pulled them. Dumb huh?
Well my mom carried out her own investigation, my mom is so much braver than i am. She is a Christian, a firm believer in God. She walked the allies and went to the persons she believed in her spirit committed this crime. Of these persons were Philmore Seaton aka Kiddie and his younger brother Sanjay or Sanchez... Cant remember exactly what it was. They ofcourse denied having any involvement but witnesses overheard them snickering about breaking our house. We tried to relay this information to the cops... a Mr. Browne who was incharge of carrying out the investigation and till this day we can not get a hold of them.
My mom went to them.. (kiddie and sanjay) on Wednesday... 2 days after the burglary and said... "Listen, I know you broke into my house and you need to bring back my belongings. I am bigger than any obeah woman, I am a woman of God. Touch not the Lord's annointed!!! Bring back my items or destruction will follow you, mark my words. Destruction is closely behind you!!!" This shook em up quite a bit as you could have seen the fear in their eyes. Not enough to have them bring our stuff back though.

I love that part of the story. I bet Seaton was afraid of obeah. Aside from just being splendid, this lady demonstrates something very interesting: she wanted to find out the truth and she went and found out. She knew that people knew. Everybody knows this, but she acted. It says a lot for what courage, initiative, and the determination to know the truth can do, in a small place.

Well guess what? Philmore Seaton aka Kiddie was shot to death by the Police the following night.. Thursday 7th March 2007. He robbed a young lady at gun point for her cellular phone around 11.30 pm.
Lucky thing a defence force officer was nearby and attempted to apprehend him. Kiddie then gave the cop a gunbut in which the officer retaliated by shooting him. He died on the spot. He had a nine mm gun and a black mask on him.
Meanwhile, his younger brother and mother were said to have been arrested because after searching their house, many stolen goods were found.. (hopefully mine is there).
Well the latest i have heard is that the mother was released and the younger brother is still in prison.
From since Kiddie has been released... lots of houses have been broken into in the area of St. Johnson ave. Fortlands, and anywhere close to it. Well, hopefully things will go back to normal now that he is dead and his brother is in prison.
Just thought you would like to know... I guess... justice has finally been served.

The commissioner confirmed the details of the shooting. Seaton was carrying, not wearing, the ski mask. What would anyone be doing with a ski mask in that climate? I had seen, but not read, some posts on the SKN list this week about a fatal police shooting, but someone gets shot there with tedious regularity, so I didn't read them until this comment to my story. One or two of the listi commenters may have been police officers, though apparently not involved in this case. The general mood among the posters who wrote on this killing was celebration.

The rumor that a Jamaican security detail, in St. Kitts for the cricket World Cup, shot Seaton was not true, the commissioner said. I realized that the Jamaica Constabulary Force's penchant for extra-judiciary killing is now a standing regional joke.

Here's an updated timeline, with a few corrected details:

In October Seaton escaped from police custody, where he was being held on charges of indecent assault (my case? I don't know), and went to St. Maarten. In St. Maarten he was arrested for armed robbery, and returned to St. Kitts. But now I see that his escape from the plane was in November 2003 and that they didn't catch him then. He made it to St. Maarten (by boat probably) and got into trouble again there. It's after he was returned the second time that the police contacted me in 2004.

You might wonder why I wasn't following the details of this story while I was down there working at a newspaper. Well, by this time I was living in Nevis and working at a Nevis newspaper. I was short on staff, and I didn't have the resources to send someone to St. Kitts to cover this sort of thing. So small crime in St. Kitts was one of the things that had to be sacrificed. And, moreover I did not know that the guy in these stories was the same one who had attacked me.

I am struck by how persistent he was. This isn't someone who was tempted and fell one or two times too many, or who was in need. Apparently, as soon as he was at liberty, whether by escaping or being released, he went right back to robbing women again. Armed robbery, burglary, larceny, all againsst women, were what this guy did for a living. Those activities were his career. I don't really know how people like this think or explain themselves.

I had one friend who was English, a genuine Cockney, who had a brief career as a professional thief. You know in England there are these old crime traditions in some places. Anyway he had done some time years ago and gone into I don't know, construction or something out towards the boundary of legality. He was retired when I met him. One day he simply said to me quite bluntly "I was a thief." And when I looked surprised and amused, he said, testily, "I done some very stupid fings." And that was about it. I think he didn't like jail and I think that he probably didnt' much like being a thief, either. I imagine it's scary sometimes and he wasn't the sort of person who lived on thrills. He liked comfort and friendship, and he liked to work. He was lonely, among other things.

But this guy Seaton seemed something else altogether.

I myself don't feel like celebrating.


At 10:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bring back my items or destruction will follow you, mark my words.

She was right, wasn't she?

Relief, quiet relief. He is done.


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