Forgive me

On the eve of the fifth anniversary of the Campus Trendz tragedy in which six young women were killed when the Tudor Street boutique was firebombed during a robbery, the father of Renaldo Alleyne who is serving six concurrent life sentences for their deaths, is asking the families of the deceased for forgiveness on his son’s behalf.


“You feel it easy for he sitting down in that cell?” said the father who agreed to be interviewed by Barbados TODAY on condition that neither his name nor his address was mentioned.

“He asking for forgiveness all the time. It ain’t easy for he. All he telling himself is he should be home with he family.”

The sad dad said just as it has not been easy for the families of the deceased, it also has not been easy for him. He said he too was hurting and also living in fear because there are persons out there who are still angry over what his son had done. The father said he was also a target of blame.

On August 15, 2012, Alleyne, who had never been in trouble with the law prior to the Campus Trendz incident, was ordered to spend the rest of his life behind bars. He was given six concurrent life sentences for killing Pearl Cornelius, Shanna Griffith, Kellisha Olliviere, Tiffany Harding, Nikita Belgrave and Kelly-Ann Welch on September 3, 2010.

“He regret bad. He freedom take way you know. It is just as if he did dead too, although he still got life. All of he freedom tek way, don’t mind he might be eating and drinking. Deep down inside, I know he don’t feel good because he know that he commit a crime he shouldn’t commit, but he got to live with it,” the father told Barbados TODAY.

“He ain’t seeing outside again. He will live up in there until he dead . . .”

The 52-year-old father who visits his son at HMP Dodds whenever he is given the opportunity, said Alleyne has been on his best behaviour in prison and seemed to be abiding by the rules and regulations of the correctional facility. A talented artist, he spends lots of time expressing himself on paper.

“Every time I get the chance, I does go and look for [him]. That is all I can do. At first, it was really hard, but not now, because I got to live with it. It ain’t nothing more nobody could do. It done happen already and gone,” the father said.

The father said there were persons who occasionally have uttered harsh words to him and he expected this to continue for some time.

“Them does tell yuh, ‘you is to worry about the one you got in jail’. But I want them to know that jail ain’t make for he only, it make for everybody that commit an offence. Don’t condemn me nor don’t condemn my child because jail made for everyone of we out here,” he said.

The father, who said he advises Alleyne’s siblings every day not to make the same mistake as their brother, expressed concern about the recent rise in gun-related crime and the kind of guidance young people were receiving.

“It look to me like them doing it because them just don’t care until them get caught up, want mummy and daddy and then it too late,” he remarked.

“Them got the guns in them hand and feel them is a bad man and can’t even shoot, but them shooting the wrong people.

“Look at that teacher [Dwight Holder] fella. That life gone down the drain. Them feel like them more bad than the police but nobody ain’t more bad than the law. Them is bad boys and when the police come, them running,” he said in a passionate tone.

Standing in the same place he was five years ago when police came to take away his son, the father said that day would forever be etched on his mind. He recalled being among a group of men discussing the incident and angrily stating that he wanted badly for the perpetrators to be found, and justice for the families.

“I say I would really like to know who them is and whoever them is I would like police to try and hold them. I say police should put up a road block and go down on the blocks and check, not knowing it right home at my doorstep,” the father said.

The September 3 Foundation will be hosting a ceremony to mark the anniversary in Heroes Square, The City, at noon tomorrow when a minute of silence will be observed in memory of the six young women who perished in one of the island’s worst tragedies.

5 Responses to Forgive me

  1. Sharon Woolley
    Sharon Woolley September 3, 2015 at 2:39 am

    He deserves a noose around his neck, certainly not forgiveness. He’s a waste of life, and deserves no right to his. His Father is living in a dream world if he expects forgiveness from anyone, especially the families of those who perished

  2. Matthew Greaves
    Matthew Greaves September 3, 2015 at 3:14 am

    This is why the crime issue in bim will never get solved cause if one man and his accompliss cause the deaths of 6 innocent women some employees and some customers by throwing the cocktail in the store and then deliberately closing the only exit from the store causing the women to run to the back of the store where they all died from suffication caused by that thick black smoke yet this is yrs now that pass and dem still in prison enjoying life and eating out of tax payers money! Cause dem got human rights, but the six women didn’t have any rights so that is why they deserverd to die like that without getting real justice. Start back hanging and start wid dem first!!.I waiting fa d same ignorant bajans that complaining bout murders on here and the nation page ta cuss me now

  3. Charles Worrell September 3, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Guys as difficult as this may be, we are called God to forgive. He made us and know us. There will be another life and it is based on what we do here.
    Think for a moment what that young man is going though and yes, he did the crime and an ugly one at that; now he gets to relive this everyday of life.
    I hope he finds God while there and YES, God still loves him as He does us. Justice was served even if you don’t agree with it.

  4. Tony Waterman September 3, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    @Charles Worrell!!! Easy for you to say that, none of those young Ladies were family to you.
    I am subject to correction here, but was it not discovered that the owner had closed up the Rear exit with Concrete block, probably to Curtail leakage of their Merchandise ?? so why was that Owner NEVER Charged with Accessory to Murder. because if there was still a Door, there would have been an escape for those Ladies. and since that Tragedy, ha there been an examination of all similar locations to rectify that particular problem, (NO EMERGENCY REAR EXITS) no one should be allowed to operate any Business of Night Club, or any Buildind where people congregate, without having Multiple escape routes in the Facility, NO ONE.

  5. Olutoye Walrond September 3, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    We naturally want to sympathise with you, Mr. Alleyne. These things are always much clearer on hindsight. If only you could turn back the hand of the clock and bring up your son with the discipline he so badly lacks. But it’s now too late.

    Jail might be made for everyone, as you say, but none of us is compelled to enter its portals.


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