Wed | Apr 24, 2024

Police witness: Collymore broke down in tears at sight of dying wife

Published:Wednesday | February 21, 2024 | 2:09 AMTanesha Mundle/Staff Reporter -
Simone Campbell-Collymore
Simone Campbell-Collymore

Omar 'Best' Collymore, the alleged mastermind behind the January 2018 murder of his wife, had burst into tears when he saw his wife at their gate gasping for air after she was shot multiple times.

The businessman had also told police a day after his wife’s death that he had no idea why someone would want to kill her and that they were happy.

A police corporal who had responded to the shooting incident, which claimed the lives of the 32-year-old businesswoman, Simone Campbell-Collymore, and her taxi driver, Winston Walters, 36, recalled yesterday during his testimony that Collymore appeared shaken up and was behaving frantic when he came out of his apartment and saw his wife.

The shooting occurred on January 2 at 3:50 p.m., at the entrance of the Forest Ridge apartment complex on Stanley Terrace in Red Hills, St Andrew.

Elaborating further on his observation of Collymore that evening, the witness said, “He appeared to be confused, frightened and shocked,” when asked under cross-examination by Collymore’s lawyer, Diane Jobson, what he meant by frantic.

Explaining further what he meant when he said Collymore appeared shaken up he said, “He appeared distressed. He was crying and repeating certain words.”

Noting that the businesswoman, at the point when he saw her, was still alive, gasping for air and bleeding from a gunshot wound to her mouth, the officer said while he was transporting her to the Kingston Public Hospital, he overheard her husband saying, “Please don’t die”.

“I heard him asking her repeatedly who was the man she was with and what happened and saying 'please don’t die',” he recollected as Collymore listened intently.

The businessman and father of two and his alleged accomplices, Michael Adams, Dwayne Pink and Shaquille Edwards, are each being tried in the Home Circuit Court on two counts of murder and a count of conspiracy in connection to the double murder.

Earlier in the trial, another police corporal who had recorded a statement from Collymore before he became suspect, recalled him saying in his statement, “I don’t know what would have caused someone to kill my wife".

“My wife and I were happy up to yesterday. There was no difference. I was shocked when my mother called me and asked about the incident, I could only say she is dead," the court heard Collymore said further in the five-page statement.

In the same statement, Collymore described his wife as being very nice and attractive. He also said that she was miserable but admitted that he was to be blamed as he was unfaithful.

“I would cheat on her and when she find out she would distance herself,” the court heard he said.

According to Collymore, he and his wife met in the United States while working at Kaplan University and married before starting a business together in Jamaica.

He however admitted that, at the time of her death, his relationship with her parents was not good as a result of "a feud" they had at his parents’ home.

The court previously heard that the couple had an explosive fight in which Campbell-Collymore threw him out of her parents’ house and he threatened at that time that he was going to ensure that the family crumbled.

He said it was after that spat that he moved out and he and his wife rented the apartment where she was shot and killed.

Recalling the day of the incident, Collymore, in his statement, the court heard, said he was at home when a lady came and told, “Is your wife” and he went to enquire and found his wife sitting outside the car with a gunshot wound to her chest and left arm.

According to Collymore, he picked up his wife and put her in the police car and after she was taken to the casualty ward, he was told that she did not make it.

Meanwhile, another witness, a detective corporal, testified that on January 27, he and a team of officers went to the Norman Manley International Airport where Collymore was handed over to him and taken to the Constant Spring Police Station. On that day his wife was being buried.

The trial also heard that another team of officers on February 8, arrested Collymore at a guest house in St Elizabeth. A detective corporal told the court that at the time Collymore was being sought in connection with his wife's murder.

When asked if he was aware that he was wanted, the witness said Collymore claimed he was waiting on his lawyer to take him in to the police.

The trial will continue today before Justice Leighton Pusey.

tanesha.mundle@gleanerjm.com