Unscrupulous individuals have been soliciting money on behalf of relatives of dead seven-year-old Clan Carthy student Benjamin Bair, and his grieving relatives are asking those persons to cease and desist.
Benjamin died tragically when a garbage truck got out of control and slammed into another vehicle before crushing him at the Kingston school on October 28. The driver of the truck was subsequently charged with manslaughter.
But just five days before his funeral, Benjamin’s mother Japhene Campbell said that scammers have been using the family’s grief to enrich themselves.
“Persons have been going to MP Mark Golding, and another person went to Desmond McKenzie, who came on air two weeks ago saying that he is standing with the parents of Benjamin Bair,” Campbell told The Gleaner yesterday.
McKenzie is member of parliament for Kingston Western and minister of local government and community development.
“I don’t know who these persons are, and I did not send anybody to ask for anything on my behalf,” said Campbell. “The Government has already said they are going to deal with it, and so I hold them at their word.
“I have not asked anyone to make such a request on my behalf, and I urge them to cease and desist,” she continued.
Benjamin’s funeral is slated to take place on Sunday at the North Street Seventh-day Adventist Church on Sunday, starting at 10 a.m. His body will be interred at Dovecot Memorial Park in St Catherine.
Last month, Campbell had criticised the Ministry of Education for dragging its feet on funding the funeral.
She said that the ministry was prepared to pay for the funeral and storage charges but not the expenses relating to his wake, which is set for this Saturday.
Yesterday, Campbell said that the financing of the wake is still being finalised and that she is to attend a meeting with government representatives on Thursday.
Campbell and relatives remained mum yesterday on whether the family would sue the Government for the boy’s death.
So, too, did their attorney, Jacqueline Cummings, who said that burying young Benjamin is the priority at the moment.
“Right now, we are dealing with the family’s grief and dealing with the funeral arrangements. We are not ready to discuss that (a possible lawsuit) just yet,” said Cummings.