Despite warnings to stay away from swollen watercourses in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Bret, one man is feared dead after a boat he was in overturned in the Godineau River yesterday.
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Cop on rape charge hides from media
Police yesterday formed a human shield around Constable Melvin George as he left the Siparia Magistrates Court after appearing on nine sex charges, including the rape of a 13-year-old girl. Officers surrounded George, 41, of Siparia, as he brushed pass media photographers who were trying to get his photo. The police then bundled George, who used a dark blue bandana to hide his face, into a waiting police vehicle which sped off.
George, who has 13 years service, appeared before Siparia Magistrate Jo-Anne Connor charged with the nine indictable offences. Connor, after reading the charges to the officer, who was last attached to the San Fernando Police Station, ordered him to stay away from his alleged victim. “You are not to have any interaction with the VC (virtual complainant — the teenager),” the magistrate said.
George, who was represented by attorney Richard Valere, was granted $450,000 bail. He said the bail was adequate and did not request any reduction in the amount. Connor agreed the amount was sufficient to cover all nine charges. George was not called upon to enter a plea to the charges which were laid by Cpl Haynes of the Siparia CID. Yesterday, prosecutor Dridgenath Sookraj did not object to bail. He informed Connor that George was a policeman and an attorney from the office of Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) would have to be appointed to prosecute.
Connor said she would adjourn the matter so the state attorney could be appointed. Valere suggested that the matter be adjourned to July 18 but Connor said that date would not make sense since no state attorney would be appointed by that time. She instead adjourned the matter to August 11.
The charges laid against George read that between January 1, 2013 and March 31, 2013, at Coconut Alley, Siparia, he had sex with a female under the age of 14 without her consent.
He was also charged with:
• Three counts of having sexual intercourse with a female under the age of 14 between March 31, 2013 and October 25, 2013, at Coconut Alley, Siparia.
• Five counts of having sex with a female who has attained the age of 14 but is not yet 16. The five offences allegedly occurred between December 31, 2014 and June 7, 2014.