Indecent assault conviction affirmed on appeal

The Court of Appeal on Monday affirmed an indecent assault conviction of a man who groped his teenage niece.

The man, whose name has been withheld to protect the minor’s identity, was in April 2022 sentenced to one year in prison for the offense, which carries a maximum penalty of three years’ imprisonment. He has a month remaining on his sentence with time off for good behavior.

According to the evidence, the 14-year-old girl was asleep in her room when her 31-year-old uncle came into the room and placed his hand on her butt and touched between her legs near her genitals.

The girl told her mother, the convict’s sister, about the assault. She met him asleep on the floor in the room and kicked him out before calling the police.

At the appeal, Carlson Shurland, KC, argued that Senior Magistrate Derence Rolle-Davis had wrongly considered evidence of the mother, as it offended the hearsay rule.

He also contended that the magistrate had failed to consider the defense of drunkenness, as there was evidence that the convict had alcohol in his cup.

He also denied recalling touching the minor when confronted by his sister. However, the uncle did not testify at his trial and neither did he suggest that he was drunk during the police interview.

However, the panel of Justices of Appeal Sir Michael Barnett, Roy Jones and Stella Crane-Scott ruled that the magistrate had made the right decision.

Without hearing arguments from Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Stephanie Pintard, Sir Michael said, “We’ve considered your appeal and the submissions that you put forward. We see no reason for disturbing the finding of the magistrate. The magistrate heard the evidence and was satisfied of the evidence of the virtual complainant. We cannot say that that was unreasonable, as there was no evidence to contradict it, and no other evidence. In the circumstances, we dismiss the appeal and we affirm the conviction and we affirm the sentence.”

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Artesia Davis

Artesia primarily covers court stories, but she also writes extensively about crime.

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