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Thursday, 21 April 2011

Bermuda's latest gun victim David Clarke was the third foreigner killed in two years;

18:16 |

Bermuda's latest gun victim David Clarke was the third foreigner killed in two years; something that's “bound to risk the Island's reputation”, according to Governor Sir Richard Gozney.

Mr Clarke, 26, was born in Barbados but lived in Bermuda since his family moved here when he was four. He was shot dead on North Shore Road, Devonshire, around 10.30pm on Sunday.

His murder follows that of Jamaican James Lawes, gunned down in Pembroke on March 22, 2010, and Jamaican-Canadian George Lynch, murdered in Hamilton Parish on May 5, 2010.

Prior to that, Trinidadian Marcus Gibbings was stabbed to death outside an apartment in Devonshire in October 2006 and Canadian teenager Rebecca Middleton was raped and killed in July 1996.

None of the murders have been solved, and all of them hit the headlines in the victims' home countries.

In November 2006, Mr Gibbings' father, Robert, hit out over the “unsatisfactory conduct” of the inquiry. He appealed to the Government of his native Trinidad and Tobago for help, claiming information about a possible suspect appeared to have been ignored by Bermuda Police.

Last May, Canadian TV news reported that Mr Lynch's family wanted Canada's Federal Government to pressure Bermuda to bring his killers to justice.

Ms Middleton's family have repeatedly spoken out over the lack of justice in their case. And when they failed to get the case re-opened via a judicial review in 2007, the Toronto Globe and Mail newspaper lamented a “dark day for Bermudian justice”.

On Monday, Mr Clarke's mother, Angela, said his death made her want to go home to Barbados, telling The Royal Gazette: “I've had enough.”

Asked about the impact of another foreign national being killed. Sir Richard said yesterday: “The murder of anyone in Bermuda, Bermudian or other, is a shocking event. I am appalled by each murder and I believe that the vast majority of Bermudians feel the same. My condolences and sympathy go to the family of Mr David Clarke.

“The series of murders of the last two years in Bermuda is bound to risk the Island's reputation, foremost with Bermudians themselves, and also with foreigners here and with foreigners living abroad who hear about them.

“The risk to reputation has to rise further when foreigners are victims, in particular when they are bystanders caught in the cross-fire as I understand was the case, for example, with Mr Lynch.”

There have been several successful prosecutions in gun cases recently, with eight men convicted in the past year.

Sir Richard said: “I hope that all who are concerned, in Bermuda and abroad, are also noting the success of Bermuda's police, prosecutors and courts in convicting those using guns, and the copious efforts of the many agencies of the Bermuda Government and non-governmental organisations and churches which are trying to tackle the underlying causes. They all deserve our strong support.”

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