Winston Blackett hid his face from photographers following the verdict on June, 30, 2011.
Photo Credit: Melissa Edwards/BVI Platinum News
The Court of Appeal has rejected the conviction appeal by sex convict, Winston Blackette, who is serving a four-year sentence for having unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 16 years.
At the hearing yesterday, January 15 before Justices of Appeal Davidson Baptiste, Don Mitchell QC and Frederick Bruce-Lyle, Blackette's lawyer Patrick Thompson put forward several arguments.
The main ground for appeal was that the learned trial judge, former resident judge Madame Rita Joseph-Olivetti failed to warn the jury pursuant to Section 146 of the Evidence Act, that the virtual complainant's (VC) evidence at trial may have been unreliable.
According to Thompson, this was because the VC admitted to telling lies in her evidence at trial and also lying to the police.
Thompson further argued that she was a child since she was 14 years old at the time of the incident and the judge should have given the Section 146 warning for this reason.
The lawyer put forward that the learned trial judge was obliged to point out to the jurors that there was no supporting evidence for the VC's evidence.
However, in their ruling, the Court of Appeal judges stated that while the trial judge did not give the requisite warning under Section 146, the appellant's own evidence at trial could have amounted to corroboration of the VC's evidence.
As a result, they found that the judge's failure to give the warning did not render the Appellant's conviction unsafe or unsatisfactory.
Following a trial on June 30, 2011, a nine member jury unanimously found Blackette guilty of five counts of having unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 16 years. He was sentenced to four years in prison by Madame Joseph-Olivetti.