‘If I had a knife, she wudda die’ – serial rapist tells court; jailed for 11 years

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Serial rapist, Thurston Semple, was on Thursday sentenced to serve 11 years imprisonment for the gruesome rape and attack carried out last year on a 30-year-old Venezuelan sex worker. 

Semple, a 38-year-old taxi driver of Tucville Terrace, Georgetown, was sentenced by Justice Priya Sewnarine-Beharry in the Sexual Offences Court at the Demerara High Court.

In March, a 12-member found him guilty of raping the victim between February 24 and 25, 2021, at Georgetown.  He was also found guilty of assaulting the woman on the same day and location; he had denied committing the crime 

Forensic Psychiatrist, Dr. Meenawattie Rajkumar, who conducted a psychiatric evaluation on Semple, testified in court during the sentencing hearing on Thursday. 

Thurston Semple at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court

The doctor  told the court that Semple suffers from an antisocial personality disorder and is functioning at a “psychopathic level.” Even though she said that Semple is not functioning at a “normal” level, the doctor advised that he undergo anger management counselling while behind bars. 

Semple, however, rejected that doctor’s report. He also claimed that he was wrongfully charged and convicted. 

“If I had a knife, she wudda die,” Sample told the court during his address.  

His attorney, Everton Singh-Lammy asked the court to consider his client’s age, noting that he can be rehabilitated. He also disclosed that his client was attacked twice while in prison by other inmates. 

Prosecutor Muntaz Ali asked the court to consider the heinous nature of the crime in which the victim was beaten and raped by Semple. 

Ali also said that Semple raped the victim without wearing a condom, thereby exposing her to serious infections or life-threatening diseases. 

The Judge told the court that she considered the use of violence used in the commission of the crime along with the emotional trauma caused to the victim.

She also considered that Semple showed no remorse for his actions and maintained his innocence.  In the end, the Judge sentenced Semple to 11 years for the crime of rape and four years for assault. The sentences will run concurrently. 

She also ordered that Semple undergo psychological counselling sessions while behind bars. 

Previously, the victim, in her impact statement said that she still can’t sleep well; she suffers from nightmares and remains fearful. 

“Fourteen months have passed since I was savagely beaten and raped by that monster and I still can’t sleep well. I have a lot of fear, anger, hatred, and helplessness. 

“I don’t know what his sentence will be but I wish he never got out of jail again. I want and hope that he will be locked up for life so that he cannot hurt anyone else,” the victim had said in her statement. 

Meanwhile, a social worker, who conducted a probation report on Semple said that residents in the Tucville Terrace community described him as “a violent and abusive” individual. 

Also, the residents told her that Semple lived alone, but would habitually have school-aged girls frequenting in his home. 

“Further, some opined that they never trusted him being in company of their girl children. Additionally, some were mum and did not want to reveal any information about the accused,” the probation officer said in her report. 

According to reports, during the period in question, the victim was raped and beaten by Semple at his house after they left a nightclub located at the corner of Robb and Cummings Street, Georgetown.

It is alleged that Semple became abusive towards the victim after she refused to perform a sexual act. It is alleged that Semple held the woman at knifepoint and demanded her to perform the act and after she refused, he beat her.

The victim eventually did what Semple wanted under duress and she later managed to escape by jumping through a window.

Neighbours alerted the police and the victim was rescued by the ranks. The victim also suffered from a fractured rib, multiple concussions, and lacerations about her body.

Semple has pending cases before the court and is currently awaiting trial at the High Court.

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