Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Dad freed on sex charges: 'Granny made me lie', says child

A Penal man was on Wednesday freed on charges of sexually assaulting his adopted daughter, after the girl testified that it was her maternal grandmother who had fabricated the allegations against the man.

Police Complainant, WPC Darlene Renn-Lashley, of the Child Protection Unit, laid two charged against the man in March, 2016.

The first alleged that between the period December 31, 2013, and January 1, 2015, at Platanite Trace, Clarke Road, Penal, he committed an act of serious indecency toward the girl. The second alleged that between the period July 31 and September 1, 2015, at the same place, he committed the act of sexual penetration on the girl, then aged 12 years, knowing her to be in a familial relationship, as his foster child.

The matter was heard before Magistrate Margaret Alert in the Siparia First Court.

The man was represented by Attorney Kevin Ratiram.

During the preliminary enquiry, the Prosecution filed four witness statements, including from the child's maternal grandmother, and also a family friend.

In the statement, the grandmother stated that the man was married to her daughter, and he was the child's adopted father.

However, when the police prosecutor began to lead the child in evidence, the girl said, “It did not happen. My grandmother, because she did not like him...The allegation against my uncle with the child abuse - it is not true. My grand-mother brought me to the station, and told the officer they have a report to make. “

The girl testified that while she was giving a statement to police her grandmother kept, “...butting in, and added stuff”.

She added that the incident never happened and she tried to tell the police “but they did not listen”.

Under cross-examination by Ratiram, the girl said she understood what sex was. She said after the man was charged, she told several people that he had not done anything to her.

On October 19, the Prosecution closed its case.

Ratiram then made a no-case submission, submitting that there was no evidence that his client had committed the acts with which he was charged.

On Wednesday, Alert said that after considering the evidence, she held the view that it didn't come, “up to scratch”.

She said after cross-examination, she found the prosecution's evidence to be manifestly unreliable and discharged the man on both counts.