Colwyn Harding’s ‘baton rape case’ dismissed after lawyer a no – show
Colwyn Harding, who had accused a police constable of raping him with a baton in 2013, had his case dismissed for want of prosecution. He has been ordered to pay the State costs awarded to the tune of $100,000.
The matter came up for hearing before Justice Navindra Singh on Monday at the High Court where the trial was expected to begin. According to a statement from Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, SC, the trial was scheduled to commence at 9:00h.
Nandlall said counsel for Harding was not present and did not communicate to the court, forcing a delayed commencement to 9:25h. Harding’s attorney reportedly called to say that he would not be able to attend court until 9:30h or 9:45h.
The AG Chambers asked for the matter to be dismissed for want of prosecution and that Harding pay the Attorney-General costs in both dismissed actions. In his first claim, Harding alleged that he was assaulted and battered by the police constable and sustained injuries.
Specifically, he contended that he was viciously assaulted by several members of the Guyana Police Force on November 15, 2013, by ranks who entered his house. He also claimed that Police Constable Singh 19175 inserted a foreign object into his anus triggering a need for corrective surgery and that the said rank repeatedly assaulted him at the Timehri Police Outpost.
The State had denied these claims, asserting that the medical evidence did not support Harding’s contention of a foreign object being inserted into his anatomy and that any surgical procedures undertaken were as a result of a medical condition which he had developed.
In this action, Harding had asked the court to grant him damages in excess of $100,000 and other exemplary damages. In the second claim, he alleged that his fundamental rights were breached as a result of the actions of the police ranks and asked the court to grant him damages in excess of $80 million.
He asked for several other costs to be awarded including that the defendants in each action pay the costs of his legal fees for bringing the actions.