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No answers for family of man shot dead in Jamaica

KILLED: Anthony Budal

THE WIFE of a man who was brutally murdered in Jamaica two years ago says she is still waiting for justice.

Speaking on the second anniversary of her husband’s murder, Audrey Budal, 56, told The Voice: “I want to know what happened to my husband. I need answers, which I’m not getting.

“There are too many inconsistencies between the Jamaican police force and the DPP (director of public prosecutions) office.”

Budal’s husband, Anthony, had migrated to England from Jamaica when he was nine but returned to the island in April 2009 to help sort out a family business, while she stayed in the UK.

Six months later, on October 17, 2009, the 55-year-old former electrician was shot nine times, just a few days before he was due to fly back to the UK on November 1.

Anthony was killed in Lucky Hill, St Mary, on his son’s birthday.

“My beloved husband was shot nine times. Police claim he was robbed for his licensed firearm and money, but I don’t believe that’s true. There are a number of conspiracy theories and I won’t give up,” said Budal, who had known her husband since she was 15 years old.

She told The Voice how she had desperately tried to reach her husband by telephone on October 17, and that her heart had grown heavy with despair just before one of the couple’s two children broke the devastating news to her that he had been killed. She immediately passed out and had to be taken to a doctor.

Since her husband’s death, Budal, from south London, has searched for answers, but she said all her efforts have failed – despite having spent thousands of pounds travelling back and forth to Jamaica.

She is critical of the police’s handling of the investigation, which has left her disheartened.

“I will go through all the necessary channels and avenues to get justice, and ensure that my husband is not dealt with like a piece of meat,” said Budal, who has set up a fund in her late husband’s honour.

“I also want to warn other British citizens and those of dual Jamaican heritage, like my husband, that this sort of thing happens and the police don’t appear to be listening to me, or responding to the fact that this is a murder,” she continued.

More than 300 returning residents have been murdered since 2000, according to statistics from the Association for Resettlement of Returning Residents (ARRR).

“The Jamaican police are not properly equipped and I’m putting together a petition to the Government to ensure that people who lose their loved ones will receive justice,” she said. “Also tourists need to be protected.”

The 56-year-old added: “I miss him so much. My husband was a lovely man. He was caring and had so much love to give. In Jamaica, they referred to him as ‘Father Abraham,’ because we fostered children together. He never had problems giving his time…

“The pain is killing me and is not getting better with time. What I feel will never go away. I see others getting justice but I’m left with this indescribable pain. Nothing will bring him back but I will receive closure if the culprits are brought to justice. I do this for my husband.”

A spokesperson for the Area 2 Police Headquarters in Jamaica told The Voice the case is still open and is being investigated.

* To sign the petition or donate to the memorial fund, contact Audrey Budal at audreybudal@hotmail.com.

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