Miss Milly sadly passes, she has become a symbol of perseverance as she vigorously pursued the case of the shooting of her daughter by a police officer all the way to the highest appeal court of the land, The Privy Council.
She was truly an inspiration to all in showing us how to seek justice and Stick-to-itifness vowing to find a way to bring the perpetrator to face the charge. Even in the face of intimidation, threats and bribes offered multiple times over she pressed on.
See the Gleaner and Jamaica Observer stories excerpted below on this pioneer in a sense of individual activism.
Rest in Peace Miss Milly.
As hopes of justice die, so does mother
Howard Campbell, Gleaner Writer
Millicent Forbes, whose daughter Janice Allen was controversially killed by a police constable eight years ago, died on Sunday June 20th 2010 at the University Hospital of the West Indies.
She was 53.
Forbes' daughter Ann-Marie Allen did not give a cause of death but told The Gleaner her mother was admitted to hospital last Thursday evening after experiencing stomach pains. She said Forbes had suffered from stomach ailments for some time.
Human-rights group Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) helped bring the Janice Allen story to national attention, calling for strong action against Constable Rohan Allen, the policeman who shot the 13-year-old as she stood at her gate in Arnett Gardens in April 2000.
JFJ lauded Forbes in a statement yesterday, saying she was a "true Jamaican hero" who "withstood death threats, harassment, attempted bribery and repeated disappointments but she refused to give up".
Born in Manchester, Forbes was the mother of seven children. Ann-Marie Allen, the fourth of those siblings, said her mother was an ancillary worker for most of her life.
Long legal battle
Initially, police said Janice, the sixth of Forbes' children, was killed during a gunfight with criminals in Arnett Gardens. Constable Allen (no relation to the deceased) was eventually charged with murder but was freed in March 2004 when a jury was directed to return a formal verdict of not guilty.
In May last year, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewellyn ruled that having examined all the material in the case, the Crown was not in a position to establish a case against Constable Allen.
The Supreme Court upheld Llewellyn's ruling in April. Judge Patrick Brooks dismissed Forbes' challenge to the DPP on the grounds that it had no reasonable prospect of success.
Forbes is survived by six children and 13 grandchildren.
Millicent Forbes fought for justice until her death
"It is with great shock and sadness that we learn of the death of Millicent Forbes," JFJ said in a news release. "We at JFJ extend our heartfelt condolences, prayers, thoughts and sympathies to her children... and the family and friends that she has left behind."
Forbes' long road for justice, a process which is currently ongoing, began with the death of Janice Allen, her 13-year-old daughter who was shot dead at her gate in Trench Town, Kingston on April 18, 2000. The police reported that she was killed during a shoot-out with gunmen.
A police constable, Rohan Allen (no relation), was charged with murder for the teen's death, but was freed in March 2004 after then Chief Justice Lensley Wolfe directed a jury to return a formal verdict of not guilty in the trial that was transferred from Kingston to the Portland Circuit Court.
Backed by the JFJ, Forbes took the case to the London-based Privy Council, which serves as Jamaica's final court of appeal, after the local courts rejected her application for the verdict to be set aside.
The Privy Council, however, upheld the decision of the local courts, but recommended that Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn consider if the policeman should be retried, a decision legal minds say will be cited in legal circles for years to come.
Following a lengthy review of the evidence in the case, Llewellyn decided last year May not to re-indict the cop, citing a lack of evidence on which a conviction could be secured.
However, the resilient Forbes pressed on and in July 2009 secured Judicial Review of Llewellyn's decision.
Forbes in subsequent interviews said she would not give up her fight until the cop responsible for her daughter's death was brought to justice.
But this drive suffered a setback earlier this year following a successful application by Llewellyn to strike out the decision to grant Forbes Judicial Review.
Never the quitter, Forbes appealed the decision. A judgement is now pending in the Court of Appeal.
The State had recently decided to compensate Janice Allen's estate over the death.
Ann-Marie Allen yesterday remembered her mother as a kind person who had many friends. She said also that the family would continue their mother's fight for justice for their slain sibling.