Justice for murder victim Jane Finch a step closer

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Jane Finch (right) with sister Joanna at Half Moon Bay in 2008 (Family photo)
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By Gemma Handy

[email protected]

Justice for Jane Finch, the Piccadilly resident apparently murdered in her home in October, may be a step closer.

The 66-year-old Canadian-born writer, sailor and tour rep was found dead shortly after posting a desperate plea for help on Facebook saying a deranged woman was attempting to break into her house.

A 21-year-old woman allegedly found at the scene was later charged with burglary, but a murder charge is said to have been delayed by the absence of a psychiatric evaluation of the defendant.

Last month Observer reported that no official request had yet been made for such a report two and a half months after the incident.

On Monday afternoon however that request was finally submitted, insiders say, from the court to the country’s lone psychiatrist Dr James King.

The next steps will likely be for Dr King to meet with the defendant and her family to garner more details of her mental state to help carve a path forward.

The young woman, who appeared before magistrates on October 8, is currently being held at the national prison pending her next court appearance later this month.

In such cases, psychiatrists may prescribe medication before conducting a follow-up evaluation at a later date.

Director of Public Prosecutions Anthony Armstrong previously told Observer a psychiatric report would typically take three to four weeks to complete.

He explained that it was critical to ensure that a defendant understands the nature of the charges they’re facing.

Meanwhile Finch’s devastated relatives have expressed concern about the pace of the probe.

Yesterday, Finch’s sister Joanna told Observer she was “quite shocked” it had taken more than three months for the request to be sent.

“I don’t understand why it’s taken so long but I’m grateful that at last the report has been ordered. Whether or not it can be completed before the next court hearing on January 26 is another thing,” she said.

“But this is the beginning of what we are asking for – justice for Jane,” she added.

Joanna Finch previously described her sister as a “truly beautiful human” and her “rock” who she missed every day. She said she was one of the “most powerfully determined, hard-working and generous” people she had ever known.

Mother-of-one Finch moved to Antigua more than four decades ago. She was a well-known and popular figure in the English Harbour community.

Hers was the 10th homicide of 16 to rock Antigua and Barbuda last year.

Police have been largely tight-lipped on the speed of the investigation, apart from to confirm that it remains underway.

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