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Mistaken identity: freed after 8 years custody

By Innis Francis

A man walked free yesterday after eight years in custody on four charges brought before the San Fernando High Court.

The man, who possessed two names, Richard Griffith and Mar­lon Joseph, with addresses in Diego Martin and San Fernando, was charged with the September 28, 2006, offences of kidnapping, rape, attempted buggery and grievous sexual assault.

He was discharged based on mistaken identity and found not guilty.

Griffith was represented by attorney Owen Hinds Jr while the state attorney was Sabrina Dougdeen-Jaglal.

Judge Norton Jack presided over the matter.

On the day of the offence, it was alleged Griffith, together with another man, kidnapped a woman in Point Lisas Gardens, Couva. 

The woman was 19 years old at the time. She was sitting with her boyfriend in a car when they were attacked by two men. 

One of the men held a gun and pulled the girl’s boyfriend out of the car and  they began to fight. The unknown assailant got in the driver’s seat. He held down the girl when she tried to open the door to make an escape.

The accused allegedly got into the car and they drove off.  

It is also reported the unknown man cuffed the girl in her face and the accused struck her on her head with an object. The accused pulled her in the back seat and put her head down on his lap and they drove off.

The matter started on January 9 this year and five witnes­ses testified. 

In giving evidence, the court heard the woman cried and pleaded with the men not to rape her. It is alleged the accused put a knife to her neck and told her, “Let us get this over with.”

He then hauled the young woman back into the vehicle, blindfolded her and took her to a house where the men took turns raping her.

They gave the woman money and dropped her off. A woman helped her to get a taxi. She then made her way to the Cunupia Police Station and made a report.

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