Man found guilty of rape of his common law wife
Yesterday at the High Court, a 37-year-old was found guilty of four charges, including the abduction and rape of his common law wife.
The defendant, originally from Questelles, did not come willingly to his final court day yesterday, but was brought by police officers who sniffed him out of a hiding place in Layou.
A bench warrant was issued by Justice Brian Cottle for the flighty figure, after he failed to appear in court last Friday. The police who went hunting for him, apparently found him hiding under a bed in a house.
He was brought before the jury in handcuffs yesterday, and the nine member jury brought back a guilty verdict for four charges against him.
The defendant was unanimously found guilty of aggravated burglary, that he did enter his wife’s premises as a trespasser with the intent to commit the offence of assault and at the time had with him a cutlass. This happened between August 20 and 23, 2013.
The defendant, who was 31 at the time, had previously been removed from his 24-year-old wife’s house, after the two had apparently had an argument, and he went for his cutlass. It is said that persons were on the scene at the time and managed to hold the defendant back, giving the wife an opportunity to escape. The argument was said to have started when a bowl of food was thrown in the wife’s face, and she slapped the defendant. Over the seven years that the two were together, it is said that he was abusive towards her.
He was further found guilty of, between the same dates, compelling the victim, by force, to go from her home to a nearby mountain.
For charges of rape, and the infliction of actual bodily harm which stemmed from the same incident, the jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict.
The case was prosecuted by crown counsel Karim Nelson, who called five witnesses to the stand. The defendant chose not to give evidence, and no witnesses testified on his behalf.
The facts are that on August 21, 2013, the common law wife was sleeping in her house with their one year old son on the bed, when she felt someone pulling at her legs. She woke up to see the defendant over her with a cutlass, and she screamed. She didn’t want to go with him, but became scared because of the cutlass.
He dragged her to a nearby mountain and she was told to take off her undergarments, and was threatened her with a scissors held above her head. He raped her, and evidence was given by a doctor that there was bruising to her cervix due to how rough the rape was. The doctor also gave evidence of an injury to her left hand which she attributed to when she was pulled by him in her house, and she fell on the ground.
The defendant apparently kept saying that he would kill her after the rape, and that there was a speedboat waiting for his to get away. However, the wife managed to convince him that she would not go to the police station. He slept at her house that night while their son slept on the same bed. He left the house in the morning, and she waited a while before going to the police station.
The defendant denied some of his previous convictions when the judge addressed him about his seven convictions.
The prisoner, who had requested an adjournment early in the trial because of a toothache last week, told Justice Cottle that he wanted to see the doctor yesterday, as he said the police had jumped on him and caused his foot to swell.
Cottle asked him, “That was what? The officers who had to go and find you because you refused to come to court on Friday?” The judge reminded him that his not being present nearly caused his bail bond to be forfeited, and his surety, who was his mother, to have to pay $8,000.
A social inquiry report was ordered before sentencing on March 8, until which time the defendant is remanded into custody.