Tears for Desrine - Family seeks answers after woman found hanging in police lock-up

March 12, 2018
Lorraine Morris is convinced her sister didn't commit suicide.
Alberta Hylton, mother of Desrine Morris, has hardly eaten since her daughter was found dead in the holding area of the Half Way Tree Police Sation.
Desrine Morris died in police custody.
Desrine Morris died in police custody.

"Desrine na kill herself. Desrine na dweet," said Alberta Hylton as she wept on her verandah at Love Street, Jones Town, Kingston, on Friday.

The elderly woman has hardly eaten since she got the shocking news last Thursday that her daughter, Desrine Morris, was found dead in the holding area of the Half-Way Tree Police Station.

Morris allegedly committed suicide hours after she was arrested for wounding. The 79-year-old Hylton told The STAR that she only learnt of Morris' arrest when the police had told her that she had killed herself behind bars.

"Dem take her out a her yard like rubbish. Me see her the morning a sweep her yard and a empty her rubbish pan. About 10'o clock inna the night, me see four person walk inna me house and tell me to sit down. One a the police dem put me on a chair and tell me say Desrine kill herself," Hylton recalled.

"Me say no, if Desrine dead, a uno kill her, cuz she nah do that, and den everybody stop talk. The room get quiet," Hylton said, before stifling her cries in a towel.




Morris, the seventh of Hylton's 12 children, was arrested on March 1 at approximately 11 a.m. to attend court in Half-Way Tree. Police personnel reportedly went to escort Morris to the courtroom when she was seen slumped against a grill with one end of a blouse that she was wearing tied about her neck. The other end of the blouse was tied to the grill. She was rushed to hospital where she was pounced dead.




"Bwoy, the same ting weh Desrine love, a it end up kill her. She always a go station fi the least likkle ting, although people always trouble her. Desrine love courthouse, but a she always a carry people go court and never the other way round," said Desrine's sister, Lorraine Morris.

"She like to cuss, and because a dat, people always a trouble [her] just fi she cuss so dem can laugh. She a mi madda eyeball, and from she dead mama barely sleep. Me mada just a recover from a stroke and now dem murder her baby," Lorraine continued.

Lorraine said her sister had endured a lot of things in her life and had overcomed them. She reasoned that her sister would not have taken her own life.

"Years ago, me sister go dance and people a fight and accidentally acid her and her face scar fi life. She get broke hand ... the only ting she never get a gunshot, so me sure she naah go kill herself," she said.

The family has not been allowed to see Morris' body until a post-mortem has been done. This, however, may not be unusual since it is treated as a sudden death, hence a police matter. The police are currently probing the matter under the watchful eye of Jamaicans For Justice.

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