Thursday, January 05, 2017 | 9:24 PM
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Heather Murray, principal of the Hampton School in St Elizabeth, on Thursday sought to set the record straight about her presence at the bail hearing of Reverend Rupert Clarke, the Manchester-based pastor who was recently charged with rape and having sexual knowledge of a person under 16.
In a statement, the principal said she was at the bail hearing to provide moral support to the pastor’s wife, who she described as her friend.
|Heather Murray (File photo)|
Clarke, a longstanding minister of the Moravian Church, was on Wednesday offered bail in the sum of J$800,000 when he appeared in the St Elizabeth Parish Court.
“His wife has been my very good friend since we both attended Hampton School in the 1960s/70's. We are both long time educators who have been serving together for many years on several boards, committees and commissions,” Murray said. “We are both Justices of the Peace. “Such is the closeness of our relationship that when the news broke, I was naturally the first person to whom she turned for solace and support. I have not left her side since because I know that my friend needs me,” she continued. “She reached out to me as a wife, mother and friend.”
According to Murray, their bond is such that they were married a year apart and their daughters were born a day apart in the same hospital.
“My presence at the court was to be there for my friend who needed my moral support,” she said.
“As a wife, mother of two daughters and principal with responsibility for 1,220 young ladies, I have sought always to protect and defend them and the young children of Jamaica. That has not and will never change,” she insisted.
Clarke was arrested on December 28 after a motorised police patrol in the deep-rural community of Austin in Myersville, south east St Elizabeth, close to the Alpart plant in Nain, came upon a parked car in a secluded area about 9:00 pm.
Further inspection revealed the pastor and a 15-year-old girl in what the police described as a “compromising position”.
He was subsequently charged. more