‘He was my ev­ery­thing’

Jamaica Gleaner - - MAPPING MATTHEW - Ce­celia Camp­bell Gleaner Writer ru­ral@glean­erjm.com

Mother of man killed in at­tempted mur­der-sui­cide mourns

“WHY?” THAT is the ques­tion up­per­most in rel­a­tives’, friends’ and neigh­bours’ minds about 40-year-old Sean Sap­ple­ton, who set his house afire in an ap­par­ent at­tempt to kill his wife and two step­daugh­ters along with him­self.

Sap­ple­ton, a trucker and taxi op­er­a­tor, died, while his wife Althea Bed­ward Sap­ple­ton and her two daugh­ters, SashaKay and Vanessa Richards, were yes­ter­day ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal in crit­i­cal con­di­tion.

“We didn’t see this one com­ing. He was such a jovial per­son. Why would he do this?” one neigh­bour com­mented.

Sap­ple­ton’s mother, Thelma Sap­ple­ton, who seemed to be in a daze, strug­gled to hold back tears, as she said she didn’t know what she would do with­out her son.

“He was my ev­ery­thing. Right now, I don’t even know what to tell you. Dat deh man mi call pon fi ev­ery­thing,” she said.

Ac­cord­ing to the late trucker’s mother, who lives in Nine Turns, up­per Claren­don, where her son orig­i­nates, he was loved by ev­ery­one there.

Thelma said the only inkling she had

that things may not be right came when he sep­a­rated from his wife a few months ago.

How­ever, she thought their is­sues had been worked out, as they had got back to­gether.

Sap­ple­ton’s brother, Clif­fane Rose, who ex­pressed shock at the in­ci­dent, said he had called him a few days ago with a pro­posal.

“I told him I am buy­ing a car and wanted to put his name on it. He told me that he can’t and ad­vised me to put another fam­ily mem­ber’s name. Man, I feel so cut up ‘bout this,” Rose shared.

He said in all their con­ver­sa­tions, there was no clue to sug­gest all was not well, emo­tion­ally, with his brother.

Francine Bed­ward, Sap­ple­ton’s sis­ter-in-law, also won­dered what could have driven him to try to hurt her sis­ter and nieces.

“They had mi­nor dis­putes, noth­ing that would get me sus­pi­cious,” she said.

Other neigh­bours ex­pressed sur­prise, as they said a few days ago, the cou­ple could be seen paint­ing the ve­randa grille to­gether.

Sap­ple­ton was also ac­tive in the last com­mu­nity pro­ject in which they painted the side­walks.

Shel­livie Lums­den, pres­i­dent of the par­ent sup­port group in the scheme, is en­cour­ag­ing fam­ily mem­bers to reach out for help.

“This is one of the re­sults of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence happening in the scheme that seem to be over­shad­owed by the im­pres­sion of a good life,” she said.

“Peo­ple are hav­ing psy­cho­log­i­cal is­sues and are too em­bar­rassed to open up. This is a stigma iden­ti­fied in Longville, and we need to deal with it. If you have is­sues, there are a lot of trained coun­sel­lors. Reach out.”

The burnt-out house on Green­heart Street, Phase Three, Longville Park, Claren­don.

CONTRIBUTED

Sean Sap­ple­ton set his house afire and died in the blaze.

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