Saturday, April 14, 2007

Criminal Law: Sexual Offences: Law amendment

This appeared in today's edition of the Gleaner Newspaper :

Sex laws report for Senate tomorrow
published: Thursday June 7, 2007

Far-reaching proposals contained in a report drafted by the parliamentary committee, which examined the Offences Against the Person Act and the Incest Punishment Act, will be tabled in the Senate tomorrow.

The committee wrapped up its final meeting in Gordon House yesterday, after putting the finishing touches on recommendations to amend laws relating to rape, incest and other sex crimes.

Changes proposed by the committee over its seven-month-long sitting will afford more protection to vulnerable persons, including the mentally challenged, women and children.
Chairman of the committee, Senator A.J. Nicholson, who is also the Attorney-General and Justice Minister, said the report should be debated in less than two weeks.
Preparing new legislation

He said the Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel had the task of preparing new legislation, which would be reviewed by Cabinet and introduced in the House for debate before the end of the calendar year.

Highlighting some key areas covered in the report, Senator Nicholson mentioned the definition of rape and sexual intercourse, marital rape, abolition of the common law presumption that a boy under 14 years was incapable of committing rape; incest and related matters.

Senator Nicholson argued that the companion pieces of legislation impacted mostly on young women.

He explained that certain activities that were reported to have taken place in schools, were alarming.
Another interesting incest case was reported in the Observer today as well.
By T K WHYTE Observer correspondent
Thursday, June 07, 2007

SPANISH TOWN, St Catherine - A 15-year-old schoolboy who pleaded guilty to having sexual intercourse with his 44-year-old mother, who the police described as an imbecile, was remanded to a place of safety Tuesday, when he appeared in the Spanish Town criminal court.The boy's father was charged with aiding and abetting the offence, and was offered $80,000 bail with surety. They are return to court on July 3 when the case will again be mentioned.
The boy was charged with incest and defilement of a female imbecile, while his father was slapped with charges of aiding and abetting carnal abuse and aiding and abetting the defilement of a female imbecile.
Senior St Catherine resident magistrate Lorna Errar Gayle also ordered that the court apply to the Director of Public Prosecutions for a nolle prosequi, to allow the case to go directly to the St Catherine Circuit Court for trial.
Detective sergeant Kirk Roach of the Guanaboa Vale police told the court that between December 2006 and January this year, the boy confessed to sexually assaulting his mother six times in the one room shack where he lives with his parents and three sibblins.
Although the mother reported her son's behaviour to his father - her common law husband - he took no action, and when she became tired of her son's abuse, she told neighbours who alerted the police.A visibly distraught Errar Gayle questioned the boy, who admitted to having sexual relations with his mother, and using a condom "one of the time."
The father told the judge he knew his son was "troubling him mother". "I talk to him and beat him two times and tell him not to go back and (I) move him out of the room," he said.
The police's account of the family also prompted the judge to order the Child Development Agency to investigate.According to the police, the father and his common law wife live with their three other young children at the house under deplorable and unsanitary conditions.
One of the children, a nine-year-old girl, reportedly had a wound to the head which was infected by maggots.The father told the judge that he had filled the wound with crushed crackers and corn meal to stop the maggots, but it did not help, so he took her to a doctor who had given him a prescription which he had not yet filled.

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