Sunday, 5 June 2011

FILICIDE: Ontario: Nichelle Boothe-Row charged with manslaughter

 Jun 4 2011 Image  Oakland Ross Feature Writer
Shakeil Boothe, 10, was found dead late last month in the Brampton home he shared with his father and stepmother, both of whom have been charged in his death.
Shakeil Boothe, 10, was found dead late last month in the Brampton home he shared with his father and stepmother, both of whom have been charged in his death.
His name was Shakeil — Arabic for “handsome.”
He loved to play soccer.
His favourite meal consisted of rice and peas with chicken — sometimes referred to as Jamaica’s national dish. He dreamt of becoming a scientist one day. Shy but welcoming, he usually greeted close friends and relatives with a hug. And yet Shakeil Boothe — aged 10 years, nine months — was allegedly fatally beaten in Brampton late last month, his injuries left unreported for two days before his death.
Now, more than a week later, almost nobody who knew him has any idea how, or why, it happened.
“We haven’t a clue,” a Jamaican relative of the slain boy said Saturday, following an hour-long memorial service at a Pentecostal church in a leafy neighbourhood of Brampton, on a wet and gloomy afternoon in spring.
The woman said she had travelled from Jamaica for the service, along with Keneisha Moore, the boy’s anguished mother. She wouldn’t give her name.
As for Shakeil’s mother herself — a tall, striking woman with long black hair in a black mourning dress — she told a reporter before the service she might be willing to make some remarks later, but that proved impossible.
Moore wept in silence throughout the memorial and was still overcome with grief when it ended, clutching at her son’s casket after it was placed in the back of a hearse and unable to walk or stand without the assistance of others. She sobbed almost without a break.
When a reporter briefly approached her, Moore merely gazed back, uncomprehending. Several companions politely pointed out the obvious — the woman was far too distraught to speak.
Shakeil’s father, Brampton resident Garfield Boothe, aged 31, is currently behind bars, charged with second-degree murder and failing to provide the necessities of life.
His present wife, Nichelle Boothe-Row, 28, is also in detention, charged with manslaughter.
The charges were laid last week, several days after Peel police found Shakeil’s lifeless body in the home he shared with his father, stepmother, and an 8-month-old half brother on Homeland Ct. near the corner of Dixie Rd. and Howden Blvd. in Brampton.On Saturday, about 80 friends or relatives of Shakeil’s family celebrated the boy’s brief life and mourned his premature death at the North Park Worship Centre in Brampton’s east end.
Several, including the boy’s mother, had travelled from Jamaica for the purpose.
The others — mainly but not exclusively members of the local Jamaican community — wanted to pay their respects to a boy they may not have known personally, but whose death has affected them deeply.
“We’re here to support the family,” said Beverly Adams, a family friend. “They’re great people. This is a very unfortunate circumstance. I’m very shocked. It’s a child involved.”
Others wondered how a youngster could find himself in such deadly peril without anyone outside his immediate family circle being aware.
“You hear shouting at night — it might not be anything — but see if it’s okay,” said Jasmine, an employee at Humber River Regional Hospital, where she works alongside the boy’s step-grandmother. She would not provide her last name. “If it’s a kid, observe the kid. You’ve got to be very involved.”
Another woman named Bev, who also would give only her first name, said she was mystified that no warning signs were either noted or heeded in advance of Shakeil’s death.
“How come they didn’t know what was happening to this little boy?” she said, speaking of those around him.
A nurse by profession, Bev also said it may have been a mistake to bring Shakeil to Canada, while his mother remained behind in Portland, Jamaica.
“Separating the child from his biological mother can affect the child,” she said. “I don’t believe in separation, especially from the mother.”
But, two years ago, Shakeil and his mother were parted.
Born on Sept. 5, 2000, the boy attended Bradford Preparatory School in Buff Bay in Jamaica and also went to Sunday religious services at the White Gate Church.
In April 2009, however, when Shakeil was just 8, his father arranged to bring the boy to Canada in order to improve his professional and economic prospects.
To judge by the recollections and impressions of people attending Saturday’s memorial, the plan worked out well at first or, at least, it seemed to.
Friends and relatives remembered Shakeil as a shy but apparently happy child with his own way of doing things.
On one occasion, according to an account provided Saturday by a teacher at the Hanover Road Public School where the boy was in Grade 4, Shakeil got up in the middle of a mathematics class and went off by himself to read a book.
Called to task by his understandably perplexed teacher, Shakeil calmly explained that he simply felt like reading his book.
No one, it seems, anticipated the bleak fate that awaited the boy.
“We live in a cruel world,” said Pastor Andy Miller, who delivered a sermon toward the end of the memorial service. “What was done to him — what was done to him — is not right. But I thank God he doesn’t have to go through that pain any longer.”
Shakeil’s body is to be flown back to the country of his birth as soon as the paperwork is done. He is to be buried at the Orange Bay Cemetery in Portland, Jamaica.

No comments:

Post a Comment