Brit who won £300k at casino hacked to death after building dream Jamaican home

A woman who used her £300,000 winnings to build her dream home in Jamaica has been hacked to death on the Caribbean island.

Evadney Gayle, 67, was murdered at the palatial property in St Tooties after moving back to the country of her birth.

She had earlier been a popular figure in Birmingham where she ran a Jamaica greengrocers.

Before that Mrs Gayle owned a fashion store with her late husband Dennis, reports Birmingham Live.

She is yet another “returnee” – Jamaican-born UK citizens who start a new life back in the land of their birth – to die violently.

Evadney was a friend to Lionel Martin, better known to fans as Saxa, the saxophonist with top two-tone band The Beat.

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She was featured in the Birmingham Mail in 2003 after winning the casino fortune.

The article was captioned: “Evadney Gayle nets the highest ever UK win from a £1 stake on a national game – £290,684.52 from just a £1 bet!”

News of her murder in November has stunned Birmingham’s Afro-Caribbean community.

One close friend, who asked not to be named, said: “She was a lovely, lovely lady. When she said she was going to Jamaica, I told her, ‘don’t fight any issues about land, don’t go there and fight people for land – it’s not worth it’.

“There are people returning to Jamaica every day, hundreds of thousands have returned back home.”

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Commenting on her friend’s grisly death, she added: “When they do that in Jamaica, they make sure they are dead.

“It’s usually about a family feud over land, jobs or money. Ninety-nine per cent of the time, it’s not done by strangers.”

Byron Christian, a regular customer at Mrs Gayle’s shop, said: “She was a proper business person. Very chatty, very popular. Her shop was a real meeting place. It’s tragic, very tragic.”

Close friend Leroy James, a Dudley Road restaurant worker, said: “I was shocked, every one is shocked. She was such a nice person.”

A member of the Birmingham Association of Jamaican Nationals said: “It’s shocking, she was always saying she was going back to Jamaica. Her shop on Dudley Road sold Caribbean food and was well known.”

Evadney has been added to the list of Birmingham residents violently killed in Jamaica.

In 2014, businessman Keith Murrain was abducted, stripped and had his throat cut shortly after arriving at Jamaica’s Norman Manley airport.

In 2018, Birmingham charity worker Delroy Walker, who, like Evadney, had returned to start a new life in the land of his birth, was stabbed to death in his Rio Nuevo home.

As yet, no-one has been convicted for the murders.

Friends said Mrs Gayle, whose husband died in a car crash in the late 80s, travelled to the West Indies two years ago, but regularly returned to Birmingham.

The mother of two daughters and two sons had moved to the home she had built in St Toolies only three weeks before the November 17 murder.

Her body was discovered at 7pm by a relative. Jamaican newspapers reported that the pensioner had been “viciously chopped to death”.

A nephew, living on the island, told the Jamaican Star: "This incident has shaken our family. Everybody’s messed up because of the way she died. Nobody has taken it good. I don’t even sleep from last night.”

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