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Judicial CP - June 1999

Corpun file 8320 at


Trinidad Express, Port of Spain, 12 June 1999

10 more years for rapist-robber

By Fulton Wilson

A FATHER of eight who is serving a 15-year prison term for rape and robbery has been ordered to serve an additional ten years after he completes the first term.

The ten-year sentence was imposed yesterday by Justice Rajendra Narine on 40-year-old Curtis Forde of Marcella Street, Laventille, who was found guilty of serious indecency and robbery in the Port of Spain Fourth Criminal Court. The robbery victim is now a police officer.

The judge also ordered that Forde receive ten strokes with the birch.

It will be the second time that corporal punishment is imposed on Forde. When he was jailed for 15 years in 1996, then Justice Harold Koylass ordered that he receive ten strokes with the birch.

Ricky Rahim prosecuted while Forde conducted his own case.

In the second case, Forde had also been charged with serious indecency and robbery arising from the same incident against the policeman's girlfriend, but Rahim offered no evidence on those charges because the alleged victim migrated.

The court heard that around 9.15 p.m. on November 18, 1995, the policeman and his girlfriend were sitting under a tree at the Queen's Park Savannah when Forde placed a knife against the policeman's back.

He robbed the policeman of a gold chain and two pendants valued at $100, a handkerchief and $5 and tied him up with his shoe laces. He moved the couple closer to President's House and told them that he wanted to rob more people.

Forde then asked the policeman if he could have sex with his girlfriend. He placed a knife to the policeman's neck and threatened to chop him because the policeman did not agree to the request.

He then went to the girlfriend and asked her for sex, but when she refused, he told her: "Look lady, you have no choice, you going to make love to me."

He then allegedly raped the woman then forced her to perform oral sex on him. Forde then ordered the tied-up policeman to perform oral sex on his girlfriend. The girlfriend's hands were untied and Forde left the couple.

He was identified by the policeman during an identification parade.

On April 25, 1992, Forde raped a 36-year-old woman at the Orange Grove Savannah, Tacarigua and robbed her of $180. That victim was also with her boyfriend when Forde placed a cutlass to the neck of the victim through an open car window. He ordered them to drive to the savannah where he raped the woman and robbed the couple.

Corpun file 3853 at


Trinidad Express, Port of Spain, 20 June 1999

Lifetime jail for rapists

If Attorney General Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj gets his way in Parliament, sex offenders will soon face stiffer penalties, including life imprisonment for sex crimes.

The new Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 1999, seeks to amend the existing 1986 legislation with stiffer jail terms, a new sexual assault offence, mandatory reporting of suspected abuse of a minor and the removal of media restrictions placed on naming persons charged with sexual offences, among other things.

The bill contains a brand new offence of grievous sexual assault "whereby an accused who commits sexual acts, other than intercourse, involving the use of objects or body parts, other than genitalia, is guilty of such an offence and is punishable to the same extent as rape", which is life imprisonment.

The new bill also introduces the requirement of mandatory reporting of any suspected abuse to a minor. According to the proposed legislation: "Any person who has custody or charge of a minor, including a parent, guardian, doctor or nurse, who suspects that a sexual offence has been committed against a minor must report the grounds for his belief to a police officer as soon as reasonably practicable".

Failure to comply with this new requirement would result in an offence punishable on summary conviction to a fine of $15,000 and to imprisonment for seven years.

The new bill makes it clear that the punishment for rape, which is life imprisonment, means life imprisonment for the remainder of the natural life of the accused. The bill also seeks to increase the administering of strokes for rape in "specified circumstances" from 15 to 20 with the cat-o-nine tails.

Under the proposed legislation, the media will no longer be allowed to report the identity of the victim before the perpetrator is charged. The media will be prohibited from naming a rape victim either before or after the perpetrator is charged, giving further protection to the victims of sexual offences.

The 1986 law prohibits the publication of the identity or the photograph of a person charged for a sexual offence. The proposed law seeks to remove this requirement of anonymity for alleged offenders giving the media permission to publish the identity of an accused after he has been charged for a sexual offence.

Another significant change is the substantial increase in penalties for sexual offences. Incest will now carry life imprisonment as opposed to the existing 10-year sentence, regardless of whether the relative is over or under 14 years of age.

Sexual assault by a husband has been pushed up from 15 to 20 years for a first offence and to life imprisonment, on subsequent charges.

Statutory rape (sexual intercourse by a male with a female between the age of 14 and 16 years) will now exact a 12-year sentence for first-time offenders and 15 years for subsequent crimes.

The present penalty is five years without any distinction being made between first-time and repeat offenders. Sex with a mentally challenged person, a minor employee, buggery or a minor child now carry an increased 15-year sentence, from ten to 25 years.

The bill also requires convicted sexual offenders to report to their district police stations. Failure to comply with this notification requirement or providing the police with false information is an offence punishable with a fine of $5,000 and imprisonment of one year.

The bill also seeks to make the sex offender pay compensation to the victim by a charge on his property.

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