Guyanese freed of rape charge in Barbados

A rape case against two Guyanese was discontinued in Barbados’s District ‘A’ Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, 15 months after they had been placed on remand at HMP Dodds.

According to Barbados Today, when the case against 37-year-old Carla Alexis Martin and 29-year-old Sean Christopher Nelson, both of Kings Street, St Michael, came up before Magistrate Kristie Cuffy-Sargeant, the prosecutor, acting Station Sergeant Cameron Gibbons, revealed that the female complainant had given “an additional statement to the police requesting no further action”.

 Gibbons said information had also come from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) that the matter be discontinued.

According to Barbados Today, Martin and Nelson had been accused of having sexual intercourse with the female on June 11, 2017, knowing that she did not consent to the act or was reckless as to whether she consented. They appeared before

Cuffy-Sargeant three days later on June 14, 2017. Since then they had been on remand at the St Philip jail despite several bail applications by attorney-at-law Tariq Khan who represented Martin and Nelson’s counsel Andrew Willoughby.

Adverting to the DPP’s correspondence, Barbados Today said that the magistrate stated that the complainant had given police a statement on July 17, 2018, indicating that she was no longer interested with proceeding with the matter and that she made the decision of her own free will.

Cuffy-Sargeant said that the DPP’s correspondence went into detail about the two-stage process, the public interest test and the evidential test, that must be satisfied before such indictable cases could be discontinued.

“According to the memorandum under the public interest test, cases like these really should be prosecuted but the test that needs to be satisfied is the evidential test. A case like this cannot be prosecuted without the evidence of the complainant because there is every likelihood that a conviction cannot be had in the High Court. So as such . . . it is advised that the prosecution [against Martin and Nelson] be discontinued,” the magistrate stated.

“That’s it . . . you are free to go!” the two were told before the shackles and manacles were taken off and they walked out of the No. 2 District ‘A’ Magistrate’s Court free of the charge.