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JP linked to accused in RIU rape case under probe

Published:Wednesday | October 3, 2018 | 12:00 AMDamion Mitchell/Integration Editor

The St Catherine custos, the Reverend Jeffrey McKenzie, is to launch an investigation into the actions of Neville George, the justice of the peace (JP) who wrote a recommendation for Demar Scott to be employed to the RIU hotel.

Scott, 24, of Exchange district in Ocho Rios, St Ann, is the suspect in last week Thursday night's reported rape of two women at gunpoint at the Montego Bay resort.

From as far back as March 2, the Manchester police had listed Scott as a person of interest in several rape cases.

But on September 25, George wrote a recommendation to RIU attesting to Scott's character as a reliable and suitable person to be employed.

McKenzie said that he was not previously aware of the recommendation until it was brought to his attention by The Gleaner. He declined to address the specifics, pending a discussion with George, with whom he has already scheduled a meeting in relation to another matter.

However, he said that it was not permitted for a justice of the peace in one parish to be attesting to the character of someone in another parish.

"It is not permitted because you have to do the antecedent check," McKenzie said.

In the meantime, George is defending his actions.

He told The Gleaner that he met Scott more than seven years ago "through the citizens' association, etcetera".

George declined to name the citizens' association, saying that he did not want to implicate anyone.

In the recommendation, dated September 25, George wrote that he had known Scott for more than two years.

"During this time, he has generally conducted himself in a manner that has led me to surmise that he is a reliable, responsible, and hard-working individual," George wrote.

On Tuesday, George sought to explain why, as a St Catherine JP, he had written the recommendation, although Scott was living in St Ann.

"I knew him when he was a young man coming up," George said.

However, he could not provide details regarding where Scott grew up, only saying that he was between the "Ochi side and Spanish Town".

George also said that he did not know Scott's parents.

And he was emphatic that Scott did not pay to have the recommendation written.

"We don't do that," George said.

damion.mitchell@gleanerjm.com