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Sunday 8 December 2019
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Tobago man loses rape appeal

A BLACK Rock, Tobago, man who raped a foreigner in August 2007 has lost his appeal.

Jade Bovell’s conviction and sentence of 12 years’ hard labour were affirmed yesterday by Justices of Appeal Alice Yorke-Soo Hon, Rajendra Narine and Mark Mohammed in a joint ruling.

Bovell was charged with the rape of his 63-year-old victim, who also lived at Black Rock, on August 2, 2007.

He was convicted by a majority verdict on April 3, 2014 and sentenced by Justice Maria Wilson.

Bovell, through his attorneys Daniel Khan and Ula Nathai-Lutchman, advanced six grounds of appeal, complaining of the judge’s handling of the case. His arguments were all dismissed by the appellate court judges in their 67-page ruling, delivered yesterday.

The State was represented by assistant Director of Public Prosecutions George Busby.

According to the evidence at the trial, Bovell’s victim had just showered and was standing naked in front of her bathroom mirror, drying her hair, when she noted movement out the corner of her eye. She turned around and saw Bovell standing in the doorway. His face was covered with a T-shirt, which he managed later on to loosen, allowing her to see his face.

She also identified his feet, which she said were barefoot, narrow, slim and feminine-looking, “not like a man’s foot in Tobago.”

The woman said he had sexually assaulted her and stolen from her a month before and when she recognised him, she cried out, “Oh God, no, not again.”

The evidence said she begged him not to hurt her like before and to allow her to get a condom because she was concerned about contracting Aids.

She ran to the bedroom and tried to close the door, but Bovell managed to get in, threw her on the bed and raised the cutlass he had with him.

While he was taking off his pants, she dived for the cutlass, which hehad put on the floor, and managed to throw it out of the window. She was hit and thrown on the bed, where Bovell tried to force her to perform oral sex on him and then he raped her, after putting on a condom. It was then she saw his face when she loosened the T-shirt.

After the attack, Bovell took photos she had of the injuries she suffered in the first attack, and again took money from her purse.

He was arrested at his home, which was some 100 feet away from his victim’s, on October 24, 2008, and admitted to raping her in a statement, but refused to sign the document.

Bovell denied raping her, instead alleging it was a case of mistaken identity and that the police fabricated the case against him.

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