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May Year in review: Bermuda rocked as Jamaican national is killed in cold blood

Shot dead: George Lynch

Murder and mayhem dominated the headlines in May with two high-profile trials highlighting the depths of Bermuda’s problems.Early in the month, the jury in a mob attack case were given “enhanced security” after a man was murdered at the victim’s home, right in the middle of their deliberations.Three men were convicted of beating up Temasgan Furbert in a brutal attack at his Hamilton Parish home in February 2009. Two more were cleared.But while the jury was locked in a hotel overnight in the midst of their deliberations on May 5, 40-year-old Canadian George Lynch a friend of Mr. Furbert’s family was shot dead at the same house.Mr. Lynch had gone to the premises to visit his friend Philmore Phinn, who gave evidence just days before in the case against the men accused of the mob attack.He was shot once in the chest by two masked men who arrived on a motorcycle shortly before 10.27 p.m. His Bermudian wife, Nekesha Holdipp, was pregnant with their third child at the time.Police refused to state whether the slaying was linked to the mob attack case or not, but described Mr Lynch as an innocent victim who was not involved in Bermuda’s criminal underworld.Speaking after breaking the news to the jury panel many of whom broke down in tears Puisne Judge Carlisle Greaves remarked: “That is the saddest thing I have ever endured in my whole judicial career.”He promised the jurors they would be given “enhanced security” in the aftermath of the attack, though assured them there was no reason to think they were targets.It was later reported that the family of Mr Lynch wanted Canada’s Federal Government to pressure Bermuda to bring his killers to justice.Later in the month, 26-year-old Cervio Cox was sentenced to seven years in prison after being convicted of being an accomplice to a shooting on Court Street in May, 2009.The daylight attack, which left three men injured, was allegedly perpetrated by members of the 42 gang.Cox loaned his car to the gangsters who carried out the shooting. Addressing his sentencing hearing at Supreme Court, he urged warring street crews to “put the guns down” and “try to forgive”.The former water truck driver refused to name those he lent his car to, telling the jury during his trial he is too scared for himself and his family.