‘He was my protector’ - Leah Tavares-Finson admits wondering how Dog Paw ended up with her
Leah Tavares-Finson, the mother of 'Dog Paw's' first child, has described him as a protector and great father.
Tavares-Finson, in delivering the remembrance at the funeral of the feared gangster, Christopher Linton, said she sometimes asked herself "how did he end up with me?"
Linton, widely known as Dog Paw, was killed by the police 11 days after he celebrated his 35th birthday. The police alleged that he was killed during an alleged shootout with lawmen along Elletson Road in Papine, St Andrew.
Leah, whose father, Tom, is president of the Jamaican Senate, and mother is Cindy Breakspeare, who was crowned Miss World 1976, is brother to Damion 'Junior Gong' Marley.
"I've known Chris for some 17 or 18 years. At the start of our relationship, one of the first things he said, and everybody that knows him, will remember one of his favourite things to say was 'oh my days'. Everything was 'oh my days'. I never stop hearing it for 18 years. The other thing is, see, when him phone ring and him answer it, all yuh hear is 'baby mother', and you know the sound of his voice. He was such a caring, giving protector. He was my protector and the children's," Leah said.
"We are going to miss him. Tavern, this is a great lost. A great lost to Tavern, no matter anybody says. He was an amazing guy."
"People always trying to understand how I end up with Chris, and sometimes I think to myself, 'r@$$, a how him end up wid me'. It's the truth! Yow, we had 18 great years. He was my best friend. Yuh know, anytime I had to tell him anything, well I told him everything. Him come in like my father in our relationship, yuh nuh'. Anytime I had to tell him anything, I had to call and tell him. Anything that I know he wouldn't approve of, l had to swallow it and tek di cussing, and then tek a two week probation of him not talking to me. Yo, this is a great lost," she said.
"His kids are here, and I can tell you that he loved them. They didn't get to spend a lot of time with him, physically, but even when he was away, he made it so much of an effort to communicate with them. Always calling them and talking to them about whatever -- video games, soccer, homework -- for the short period of time he got to spend with the children," she said.
Linton, regarded by law enforcement officers as a gangster, has led a storied life. He and Micah Allen were sentenced to 15 years in prison for illegal possession of a firearm and shooting with intent in 2013. They were accused of shooting at two policemen travelling in a service vehicle along Tavern Drive, St Andrew, in April 2010. However, in April 2020, they were set free by the Court of Appeal. In quashing the conviction, the Appeal Court said the identification evidence was unreliable.
Following his release from prison, the police implicated him in several murders and shootings. However, in delivering the eulogy last Friday, Linton's girlfriend, Crystal Gordon, accused the police of targeting him, which subsequently led to his death.
"After being free for only five-and-a-half months, Christopher again became a target for the police and expressed fear for his life, which came to an untimely end. On October 11, 2021, Linton was killed by members of the police force in what they claimed was a shootout," she said.
Gordon said that Linton, who is also called 500 Wild, denied being part of any gang-related activities. She said that having been released from prison, Linton was seeking to enjoy his freedom.
"He was happy to be free and reunited with his family and spending time with his children. Christopher Linton, you are loved beyond words and will be missed forever."
'Dog Paw's body was laid to rest at Dovecot Memorial Park in St Catherine, following a short ceremony inside the burial ground's chapel.