Horse cart operator found not guilty of rape
A 57-year-old horse cart operator walked out of the Demerara High Court a free man on Thursday after a 12-member jury found him not guilty of raping a 44-year-old woman in 2020.
Christopher Howes of Rasville, Roxanne Burnham Gardens, Georgetown was on trial before Justice Priya Sewnarine-Beharry at the Demerara High Court for the offence of rape.
The woman claimed that Howes engaged in sexual penetration without her consent on April 5, 2020, at his Rasville home.
Howes had pleaded not guilty to the charge and was represented by attorney-at-law Clyde Forde. The State was represented by prosecutors Latifah Elliot in association with Nafeeza Baig and Muntaz Ali.
According to reports, Howes and the victim met on Facebook and were communicating for over a month. One day, while speaking via WhatsApp video call, the victim agreed to visit Howes’ home so she can cook chowmein for him. However, they agreed not to have sex.
The victim alleged that after cooking the meal for Howes, she was attacked and raped by him. However, she held onto his scrotum and injured him.
Meanwhile, Howes in his defence, claimed that the victim saw a woman calling him on his cellphone which caused an argument.
He is alleging that during the argument, the victim took a spoon and hit him on his testicles. As a result, he slapped her twice after which she reported to the police that he raped her.
Howes also said that the victim “burst” his testicles and he had to undergo medical treatment.