Slain taxi man’s dad wanted him to leave job

March 21, 2023
Courtney Clarke
Courtney Clarke

Steve, the older brother of slain cab driver Courtney Clarke, said that their father was desperate for him to get out of the taxi business because he felt it was too dangerous.

"A wah day him a think 'bout buying him a bus because my brother was driving his stepsister vehicle at the time 'cause fi him vehicle deh a garage. But mi father no like dah world deh," remarked the tearful sibling yesterday. Clarke, 38, was murdered last Thursday along Washington Boulevard in St Andrew. The father of two was sitting inside a white Toyota Probox in the vicinity of the Boulevard Shopping Centre when he was pounced upon by gunmen who shot him before escaping on foot. It is theorised that Clarke was the victim of extortionists.

Steve said that Clarke was a "skilful tradesman" and that his ageing father was hoping that he would take over the reins at their home-based carpentry business.

"My father have a portion of tools, every kind wah yuh can think of. Every day him tell him fi come join 'cause my father a get old and a Courtney would a be the man because him know the trade good, enuh. Him can do it by himself, the man skilful," he said.

The grieving sibling said that their father has not handled the news well.

"My father used to run a woodwork shop off Waltham Park Road weh him employ several people. But him say some likkle boy wah extort him and dem things deh, so him lock it dung and start operate from him yard. So him always no like hear 'bout dem things deh, but right now mi father no stop bawl. A di fuss mi ever see him cry so," Steve said. He said that he too was struggling to cope.

"Courtney and me were very close and is like since me get the news mi cyah think straight. Yuh know how much days him say him a go come link me?! Every day mi call him and him a tell mi say him soon come link me so we can go country together and link up wi mother," he said.

Deputy Superintendent Hemford Wade, who is the crime officer for the St Andrew South Police Division, said that lawmen have got several theories which they are investigating.

"One of which is the rumour of extortion [and it] was advanced to us and we are looking actively into that. We are not sure of what transpired but we can't rule out anything now," he said.

"We got that theory that he was approached by persons who wanted to extort him, and we have also received some information about a possible suspect and we are trying to close in on that part of it to see if the information can materialise into something more meaningful. I can say yes a name has surfaced, but it is very early days yet and we are waiting on something more tangible before divulging further," he added.

Meanwhile, Steve said that his younger brother was happier in recent days following the birth of his 13-month-old daughter.

"Him is a very good father to the two weh me know, especially the big one [who is 14 years old and attending high school]. He was very happy and it was only the other day they kept a party for his daughter," Steve said.

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