Wednesday 4th May, 2008


Man on 11 counts of sexual assault against 10-year-old

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PLACING his hands in the Islamic symbol of worship, 24-year-old Thomas Sharpe, clutched the Holy Qur’an and recited several verses as he was being led to the Chaguanas Magistrates’ Court yesterday to answer 11 counts of sexual assault against a ten-year-old girl.

The offences are alleged to have taken place between October 1, 2007, and May 19, this year.

Dressed in a black jersey and black jeans, Sharpe, of Caroni Village, Chaguanas, repeatedly shook his head as he was escorted to the First Court to answer the charges before Magistrate Nanette Forde-John.

Sharpe’s relatives flocked the courtroom to offer support, but were asked to leave when the matter came up for hearing around 11.30 am.

Forde-John read the charges which said that on nine occasions, Sharpe had sex with a female under the age of 14.

Sharpe was also charged with one count of indecent assault and an additional charge of grievous sexual assault against the minor.

Attorney Richard Mason, who represented Sharpe, told the court his client had no previous or pending matters.

Forde-John then granted Sharpe bail in the sum of $75,000 to cover all charges.

As Sharpe was being escorted out of the court, relatives broke down in tears and told him to hide his face from media photographers.

Constable Baptiste laid the charges

Sharpe was remanded to reappear in court on June 12.

$125,000 bail for bus driver charged with raping girl, 10

BUS driver Shankar Sewdass reappeared in the Couva Magistrates’ Court yesterday, charged with sexually assaulting a ten-year-old girl.

Sewdass, 47, of St Margaret’s Village, Claxton Bay, faces one count of rape and two counts of grievous sexual assault. The offences are alleged to have occurred last year and between February and March of this year.

Sewdass was remanded on $125,000 bail.

When the matter came up for hearing before Senior Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar, prosecutor Sgt Sharon Corbette said WPC Chance, the officer who laid the charge was on maternity leave.

Ayrees-Caesar then adjourned the matter to December 15. (See Pages 7 and 8)