One of the country’s most seasoned criminal attorneys Anselm Clouden is advocating the need for there to be a balanced jury list.
Clouden who was at the time reacting to a guilty verdict that was handed down in a rape case by a nine-member jury panel that comprised seven women and two men believes that there is a gender imbalance in the pool of jurors who are usually selected for the criminal assizes.
Food vendor, Kert Brizan was found guilty last week Thursday of raping a young lady in May 2010.
The defense counsel said he would like to reiterate his call for the jury list to be balanced in future cases of that nature.
He said lawyers are entitled to four challenges when a jury panel is being selected, but because of the disproportionate nature of the list they are stuck with more women than men.
“We need some balance with the composition of the pool,” he told THE NEW TODAY.
Clouden said although being obligated to accept the jury verdict, the defense is of the view that there are good grounds for an appeal.
He spoke of Brizan having admitted to consensual sex with the young lady who was 20 years old at the time.
According to Clouden, at the time of the incident, the young lady was experiencing some problems with her boyfriend, and she moved out of the house that they both were sharing.
In the course of moving her belongings to her sister’s house, Brizan reportedly gave the young lady a ride during which time they went up at the Golf Course where they had sex.
Clouden said it was not until the young lady reunited with the boyfriend two weeks later that she confided in him what had taken place, and he reported it to the police.
“Our case was this was consensual sex, and she said, of course, it wasn’t but… there was no fear, no intimidation,” he remarked.
Clouden said the defense sees the verdict as being perverse and it was in line with the evidence provided by the Prosecution.
The presiding Judge, Madam Justice Clare Henry, remanded Brizan to custody as he awaits sentencing on July 24.
Clouden said a special inquiry report has been requested, and the defense would call character witnesses.
A high level source told THE NEW TODAY Newspaper that Police are being called upon continuously to investigate reports of sexual offenses of minors.
The source who spoke on condition of not being identified said just last month Police Officers in St. David’s have had to lay a charge of indecent assault on a farmer, James Williams, alias “Barry” of La Tante, St. David’s.
It is alleged that the 54-year old Williams fondled the vagina of an eight-year old child from the same address.
According to the source, the young child went to the farmer’s house to collect some wax apples when the incident occurred.
The source said the accused man took the child inside his house, removed her underwear, and opened her legs to fondle her private parts.