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Community leader writes to PM over Keith Munrain murder

MURDERED: Keith Murrain

A COMMUNITY leader supporting the family of businessman Keith Murrain, who was brutally murdered hours after flying to Jamaica, has written to Prime Minister David Cameron to express outrage at the way the case has been dealt with by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in the UK.

Desmond Jaddoo and other members of Birmingham’s African Caribbean community are demanding a meeting with Foreign Office officials to discuss the safety of British nationals visiting Jamaica.

The body of 54-year-old Mr Murrain, a respected Birmingham-born entrepreneur, was found dumped in a shallow grave just outside Kingston within hours of flying into Norman Manley airport on June 27th. His throat had been cut.

His grief-stricken mother, 83-year-old Josephine Murrain and other family members were forced to pay almost £3,000 to fly his body home after they said Jamaican authorities refused to release his body unless they handed over the money.

More than 4,000 mourners attended the popular father-of three’s funeral at the New Testament Church of God in Lozells, Birmingham, on August 8th, where huge crowds queued in the street to pay their respects.

Mr Murrain’s family are now struggling to come to terms with his death, while his killer is still at large on the Caribbean island.

In a letter to David Cameron, Mr Jaddoo said: “The Murrain family have not had effective support in their quest for seeking answers from the Jamaican authorities. They have not had assistance with arrangements of the repatriation of the remains of Mr Murrain.

“To say that the service received by Mrs Murrain was far from satisfactory would be an understatement and indeed there is a feeling of severe inequality with the whole service of support from the British government.”

Mr Jaddoo added that the family believe they have been treated in this manner because they are black, with the mistaken assumption they are from Jamaica. Mr Murrain was in fact born in Britain and his mother is from Montserrat, a British colony.

He is organising a public meeting in Birmingham early next month to discuss the concerns the community now has bout travelling to Jamaica for both business and holidays.

Mr Murrain, who once ran Poppy’s a well-known barbershop in Birmingham, visited Jamaica several times a year to develop his tractor export business. He also had a home at one of the island’s most exclusive addresses.

Mr Jaddoo added that the family were angry over having to find £2,750 to bring Mr Murrain’s body home; they are also furious because it took a week before they were informed that his body had been repatriated and was in a Birmingham funeral parlour. They feel frustrated by the lack of information and transparency from both the Foreign Office and the Jamaican police.

However, a spokesman for the Jamaican police said: “This has been an extremely complex investigation with a large number of officers working around the clock, interviewing a large number of people.

“Mr Murrain was robbed. He was robbed of his belongings, but we do not know how much cash was taken. His body was discovered fully clothed.”

A FCO spokesperson said: “We are aware of the death of a British national in Jamaica and are providing consular assistance at this difficult time.”

They added that the FCO was unable to pay any burial, cremation or repatriation expenses as this was something usually covered by travel insurance.

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