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Guilty of sex with 9-year-old sister

By Keino Swamber keino.swamber@trinidadexpress.com

A 28-year-old Claxton Bay man was yesterday found guilty of having sexual intercourse on two occasions with his sister, who was nine years old at the time of the incident almost eight years ago.

The first incident occurred just one week after their mother died, on July 20, 2005, and a little over a year since their father died.

The verdict was announced in the San Fernando First Assize Court by a nine-member jury and sentence is expected to be passed on the man by Justice Mark Mohammed on March 11.

According to the evidence led by Senior State attorney Tricia Hudlin-Cooper, the girl was playing with her cousins in the yard next door when she was called by her brother, who told her to take her clothes off.

She told the jury that she did so thinking she was going to take a bath but was taken to a bed where the brother had intercourse with her.

The court heard that when he was finished, he shook his head and said: "Ah try ah thing."

The girl was ordered not to tell anyone about what had happened.

She testified that sometime in October that year, she was in the living room of her home playing a Playstation game when she was called by the brother into a room.

Fearing that her brother was about to commit a similar act, the girl attempted to run but was grabbed, placed on a bed and raped.

About seven months later, the girl complained to a teacher about stomach pains and the principal of the school called the police and a report was made to PC Antoinette Figaro.

Upon his arrest, the man remained silent.

He was charged with having sex with a minor.

In his defence, the man denied the allegations. He testified that he was employed as a skilled helper with a fabricating company and worked "every single day", including weekends, up until 7 p.m. and sometimes as late as 9 p.m. from July to December 2005.

In rebuttal, Hudlin called the company's records officer who said the company was never operational seven days a week and no one worked until 9 p.m. The records officer said he was certain the company never opened on a Sunday since the boss was a pastor and had church duties to perform.

The State also called as a witness a neighbour who the accused man said he used to pay $150 per day to wash and cook for him. The neighbour said she was never hired to do any laundry for him and only occasionally provided him with "a lil mouthful of food".

Denying an allegation that he had called his sister several times the week before the trial started on January 14 and asked her to lie, the man called a Digicel official as his witness.

The official confirmed that no calls were made from his cellular phone to the sister's.

The State, however, subpoenaed the telephone record for all incoming calls to the sister's phone and it was revealed that the sister had received 12 calls from a cellular phone belonging to her brother's wife.

The man described the discovery as "shocking" since his wife and his sister were not friends.

The records also revealed that several calls were made to the sister from his cellular phone after the trial began.

The man was represented by attorney Michael Rooplal.

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