CONVICTED rapist Dexter Williamson may have to give his own plea in mitigation if his defence attorney fails to come to court next week.
Williamson, 61, who was convicted in November in his absence, was told by Justice Malcolm Holdip that he may have to give his own mitigation plea before he is sentenced.
However, the judge said he also expected Williamson’s attorney, Orin Kerr, to come to court next week Friday, when the matter comes up for hearing again.
“I would be angry if that is his (Kerr's)expected behaviour,” the judge said, adding that the attorney could not “wash his hands” of the case and choose no longer to represent his client at this stage of the proceedings.
“The jury deliberated and he (Williamson) was found to be guilty. I would want to give Mr Kerr one more opportunity to come to court… He still needs to come. He is not going to be allowed to represent a man and decide he no longer wants to represent him,” the judge said.
The judge's message to the attorney came after Williamson said Kerr had told his wife he no longer wanted to have anything to do with her husband's case.
Holdip also questioned Williamson’s wife.
Williamson was convicted on November 23. At the time, he claimed to have been hospitalised and did not come to court on four occasions while the trial was ongoing, causing several delays.
After he failed to come to court, the jury was allowed to deliberate on their verdict in his absence, and after they found him guilty of raping a girl under 14, on October 29, 1997, in Maraval, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.
He was eventually held and appeared before Holdip in the First Criminal Court, at the Hall of Justice in Port of Spain yesterday.
Williamson’s case was one of those that had been fast-tracked and came up for hearing during the court’s long vacation in August last year.