March 8, 2013
Caribbean Court of Justice upholds pastor’s conviction for indecent assault

Fri Mar 08, 2013

by Doneth Brown-Reid,
Eugene Dupuch Law School

Jippy Doyle, an evangelist, was convicted of the rape of a girl, then aged 13, and was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment. Doyle was the pastor of the Dominion Life Centre, Barbados, where the girl and her mother were members.{{more}}

Doyle appealed to the Barbados Court of Appeal, which ruled that the High Court judge was wrong to tell the jury that the girl was legally “incapable of giving her consent to sexual intercourse”, and that if the jury found that Doyle had intercourse with her, there would be no difficulty in finding that he committed rape.

The Court of Appeal acquitted Doyle of rape and substituted the lesser offence of indecent assault. That was an offence which, on the facts proved, the jury could have found him guilty. The Court of Appeal sentenced the appellant to three years’ imprisonment from the date of the original sentence in accordance with relevant sentencing guidelines in force in Barbados. Doyle applied for leave to appeal to the Caribbean Court of Justice against both the verdict and the sentence issued by the Barbados Court of Appeal. The CCJ dismissed Doyle’s application for leave to appeal, stating that there was “no arguable case that the Court of Appeal was wrong”. In addition, the CCJ noted several flaws in Doyle’s application.

The CCJ reiterated that generally, it will only intervene in criminal cases where a serious miscarriage of justice may have occurred in the lower court or where a point of law of public importance is raised and the applicant persuades the Court that if not overturned, a questionable precedent might be recorded. Since Doyle’s Counsel did not provide specific evidence to support his allegations that the trial was unfair, the CCJ saw no reason to grant leave to appeal.

This summary is intended to assist the Caribbean public in learning more about the work of the CCJ. It is not a formal document of the Court. The judgment of the Court is the only authoritative document and may be found at http://chooseavirb.com/ccj/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/JUDGMENT-OF-JIPPY-DOYLE-v-THE-QUEEN-_FINAL_.pdf.