Jah Cure scheduled for July release by Karyl Walker, Sunday, March 11, 2007
Barring any breaches of prison rules over the next four months, Jah Cure and his many fans will get what they have longed for, the reggae singer's release. Jah Cure could perform at Reggae Sunsplash.
Major Richard Reese, who heads the Correctional Services Department, said on Friday that the singer is due to see the inside of a cell at the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre in Kingston for the last time in July.
"If he doesn't commit any institutional breaches he will be released," Reese told the Sunday Observer. Jah Cure, whose real name is Sycatore Alcock, was found guilty of robbery, rape and illegal possession of a firearm and was sentenced to 13 years in prison in 1998. He served the first part of his sentence at the St. Catherine Adult Correctional Centre, but was transferred to the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre after he was held with what prison officials described as 'contraband'.
Word on the street was that Jah Cure was found in possession of recording equipment and illicit drugs during a search of his cell. Jah Cure also had an appeal against his conviction turned down and was denied parole on two previous occasions.
During the trial, the court was told that the singer and an accomplice held up two women and two men at gunpoint. The police said Alcock and an accomplice chased the men away before robbing and raping the two women on a dirt track in Montego Bay. Jah Cure was eventually arrested and convicted but his accomplice, who it is alleged raped the other woman in a pile of gravel, has never been brought to justice.
It is widely believed in law enforcement circles that the other man was subsequently shot and killed by gunmen. If Alcock is released in late July, he could perform on Reggae Sunsplash in early August. However, a source close to the singer said Jah Cure was planning on organising a major concert to celebrate his freedom.
A stream of singles over the last three years has worked wonders for Jah Cure's popularity, therefore, his re-entry into the entertainment scene should be warmly welcomed by his legion of fans.
Alcock joins a list of entertainers who have spent time behind bars.
Among them are:
- Living reggae legend Bunny Wailer, who was sentenced to 14 months for possession of marijuana in 1967. He was found guilty after a police officer testified that Wailer stashed a bag with ganja in a barrel.
- Two years earlier, Toots Hibbert was sentenced for the same offences. Ska trombonist Don Drummond was found guilty of murdering his wife in 1964 and was interned at the Bellevue Hospital in Kingston where he died five years later. His death has officially been listed as suicide.
- Crooner Gregory Isaacs has spent time behind bars,
- while dancehall artiste Alozade was sentenced after he assaulted a cop inside the Half-Way-Tree court.
- The once popular deejay Zebra is now serving time on sexual offence charges.