UK cop to stand trial in the High Court for rape

Antigua Observer:  

The Scotland Yard detective who was extradited to Antigua last year to face a rape charge has been committed to stand trial in the High Court in the upcoming January Criminal Assizes.

Pending his trial, the officer, who cannot be named due to restrictions under the Sexual Offences Act, will remain on remand at the former U.S. Naval Base at Coolidge where he was placed upon his return, after he successfully argued in a U.K. court that conditions at Her Majesty’s Prison would breach his human rights if he were to be sent there.

The committal was done yesterday in the All Saints Magistrate’s Court where Magistrate Ngaio Emanuel-Edwards told the cop, in the presence of his lawyer John Fuller, that the prosecution had provided sufficient prima facie evidence (at a glance) needed to forward the case to the High Court for a trial before a judge and jury.

It is alleged that on May 23, 2015, the then 25-year-old U.K. police officer, who was on vacation in Antigua, raped the 19-year-old woman in Antigua after befriending her and spiking her drink during an outing in Falmouth.

He then left the state while local police looked for him.

Once he was traced and extradited, the British cop was denied bail when he first appeared in court here in September.

The grounds for denying the bail included that he fled the state and did not return voluntarily to face the allegation; he has no ties in Antigua and; he is considered a flight risk given the seriousness of the allegation.

It was in August 2018 that a U.K. court granted Antigua’s extradition request, but this was after it had rejected the first extradition application made in 2016.

The change in the ruling came only after local authorities gave an assurance that the British accused citizen would not be held in degrading conditions at Her Majesty’s Prison in Antigua.

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