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Judicial CP - May 1997

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Trinidad Express, Port of Spain, 29 May 1997

Rapist still depending on 'mammie'

By Earl Manmohan

A mason who together with two other unidentified men gang-raped a 21-year-old Belmont mother was yesterday jailed for 15 years hard labour by Justice Herbert Volney in the Port of Spain Third Criminal Assize Court.

In addition, Dean Taylor, 25, of Upper Stephenville, Mapp Lands, Morvant was ordered to receive 15 strokes for the offence committed on December 12, 1994.

He had four previous convictions for robbery and workshop breaking and larceny for which he was fined and received jail sentences totalling five years.

In passing sentence Volney said: "Despite the verdict of the jury, the accused shows no remorse. He shows absolutely no remorse at all. He needs growing up.

"Dean Taylor, you know you have started your life by showing you are one person that is apt to violence."

Reading out his past convictions to the court, Volney asked Taylor: "Do you admit to those offences?"

Taylor replied: "I got framed cases, sir."

Volney said: "That reinforces my view that you need growing up. You need to admit wrong doing. I am curious to find out whether you have a piece of growing flesh on your neck." (This was brought out in evidence by the victim).
Taylor: "Yes, sir."

Volney: "You do. I have no doubt in my mind that the jury arrived at the right verdict."

Volney told Taylor that he could have been sent to jail for ten years on his first robbery offence, but the magistrate was lenient in fining him just $2,000.

"Not even sentencing you for three years hard labour for robbery, 12 months hard labour for shopbreaking and larceny and 12 months hard labour for robbery changed you.

"No sooner you came out, (than) between June and December 1994 it seemed on the evidence you began to harass this woman. You seem not to take no for an answer. You seem to be a man who is in need of direction. I am afraid I am going to send you to jail.

"What is more, in this case, you couldn't do it alone. You got together with two men to gang-rape her -- that is even worse. This type of behaviour cannot be condoned by the court. The offence carries a maximum of life imprisonment. I will be failing in my duty if I do not protect the population from the likes of you.

"I order that you serve 15 years hard labour and for your confederates, 15 strokes," Volney added.
Taylor, who broke down in tears, replied: "Sir, I didn't do it. I am innocent. Mammy (addressing his weeping mother, who was in court), I didn't do it. I will appeal."

Volney: "Take him away. Quite clearly he hasn't grown up. He is still depending on his mammy. He will grow up in jail."

The trial judge told the jury of two women and seven men that on the basis of the evidence, he agreed with their verdict.

Taylor's mother caused a stir in the quiet Hall of Justice as she barged out of the courtroom in hysterics, shouting, as she made her way outside, that her son "didn't rape nobody".

The State's case, presented by attorney Geoffrey Henderson, was that the victim was walking with a male companion along Snake Valley, Laventille around 7.30 p.m. on December 12, 1994. The accused came up behind her, harassed and threatened her. She ignored him, but on reaching the Baptist Church she saw a man with knife in hand coming from behind the building with a handkerchief mask. A second man pulled her male companion away and they had a struggle.

She was blindfolded and taken behind the church where she was stripped naked and raped in turns by three men. While she was being raped by one of the men, her blindfold came off and she recognised Taylor on top of her. She saw his face for four of the five minutes he was raping her and she also noticed two pieces of growing flesh on his neck.

In defence, Taylor, through his attorney Sean Cazabon, said he was at home with his common-law wife and a friend at the time of the incident.

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