It is suspected that homophobia was behind the brutal murder of a British honorary consul in Jamaica.
The body of John Terry, 65, was found at his home in St James, near Montego Bay. He had been strangled with a piece of cloth and had severe head injuries. He is thought to have been beaten with a table lamp.
A note was reportedly discovered on the bed, which called Terry a “batty man” – a derogatory Jamaican term for gay man. The note warned: “This is what will happen to all gays.” It is thought that Terry knew his attacker as there was no sign of forced entry.
While police have confirmed that a note was found they have refused to discuss or confirm its contents. They have issued a sketch of a man who was seen near Terry’s home.
The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) have claimed that the authorities are trying to cover up the fact the murder was a hate crime.
Terry, who had two children, had been separated from his wife for three years. He had lived in Jamaica for over 40 years.
In Jamaica, which has been described as the most homophobic country in the world, gay sex is punishable by up to ten years in prison under a law which dates back to British colonial rule.
Human rights organisations have reported numerous violent attacks on gays and lesbians in the island nation.