From the Courts
January 23, 2009
Sharpes youths get lucky break after sex with minor

For the next three years, three young men from Redemption Sharpes will have to be extra cautious about what they do, as five year prison sentences hang over their heads.{{more}}

Rafique Samuel, 21, Kemmuel Clifton, 20, Rekeemo Holder, 17, each pleaded guilty on January 15, 2009, at the Criminal Assizes to having sex with a girl under the age of 13 on February 15, 2008, at Redemption Sharpes.

Presiding Judge Justice Gertel Thom told the trio that if any of them should commit another offence in the next three years, and is found guilty, he will have to go to jail for five years.

Information stated that the girl, who was a 12-year-old first form student at the time, left for school that morning but returned to the bus terminal later that very morning. She boarded a van driven by Samuel and conducted by Clifton. When the van arrived at Redemption Sharpes, it was driven to an area called “Plan”, with the girl, Samuel and Clifton being the only occupants. It was said that Clifton closed the windows of the van, which was parked next to a bakery. Clifton then said certain things to the girl and proceeded to have sex with her. Samuel followed suit.

Moments later, Holder came to where the van was parked and said: “This is my brother’s van and I want sex, too.” He also had intercourse with the young girl. When they were finished, the girl was told not to say anything because it was “police work” and that she could ride the van any time without paying.

The next day, the girl’s caretaker heard rumors spreading in the area about the incident. She questioned the young girl, who told her what had happened. The matter was reported to the police, and each defendant, in a caution statement, admitted to having had sex with the girl.

Mitigating on the accuseds’ behalf, Lawyer Stephen Williams told the court that it was the first time the men had found themselves in such a position and that they were… remorseful of their actions. Williams said that young people often make mistakes and sending them to prison will do them more harm than good.

Justice Thom candidly scolded the three men as they sat in the defendants’ box. “This is a very serious offence and what concerns the court is that thousands of girls use public transport everyday and they must not be at risk,” Thom stated. The Judge added that Samuel should have known better since he was the oldest and the one who drove the van. “I’m giving you all a chance to behave yourselves,” she noted. (KW)