Cochrane man convicted of indecent assault

Thirty-two-year-old Alixford Bunche of Cochrane has found himself back at the Stockfarm State Prison where he will remain for the next three years.

A nine-member jury found the man guilty of indecent assault at the High Court of Justice yesterday. The jury did not find him guilty of a second charge of rape. Bunche had pleaded not guilty to both charges.

Walking home

The incident occurred during the early hours of August 16, 2008 when the virtual complainant was returning home from a night out. She had failed to get a ride home and had been accompanied up to the Dowasco building on High Street by a female friend where she was left to make the rest of the journey alone to Kingshill.

“I continued walking home. I was still on the phone ..I passed Newtown Savannah and I saw a man sitting … I didn’t recognize him… I heard footsteps following,” the virtual complainant told the court.

According to her testimony, when she turned back the person asked her ‘You frighten man, friend?’ In turning back to continue walking, she claimed that the person grabbed her hair. “I was dragged into the bushes,” she recalled.

The man, whom the virtual complainant had later identified as the accused, asked her what she had and she gave him $200.

“My keys fall out from my pocket and he asked me where I live… He was wrestling with me…He told me that he hadn’t had sex for months and he wanted to [expletive]. I asked him ‘Why me? What did I do to you?’ He continued wrestling with me,” the 22-year-old woman told the court.

She said the accused man pulled down her pants, and continued wrestling with her. According to her, she screamed continuously for help, but no one heard her.

“I gave up and he pulled my pants, open my legs, and remove my underwear [and] inserted his penis into my vagina. I was screaming and he was still wrestling with me,” she stated.

On hearing an approaching vehicle, the virtual complainant said she began screaming again. However, the accused man blocked her mouth and threatened to kill her.  The young woman claimed that he forced his penis into her vagina again and discharged on her stomach.

Escape

“I knocked him and managed to escape. I ran to the nearest house. I knocked the door; someone opened. I told him I was attacked. I described the clothes the person was wearing.” The owner of the house called a friend of the woman who dropped her home.

There she took a bath and called her mother and her boyfriend who also resides at Kingshill. Her boyfriend took her to the Charge Office of the Police Headquarters where a female officer took her statement. Later, she was transported to the Princess Margaret Hospital for examination by Dr. Robertson Thomas.

Second meeting

Weeks later, on September 4 2008, the virtual complainant was walking down the Kingshill road with her son when she saw a man standing by a lamp post. “He watched me, he turned his back and he runaway.”

She identified that person as the accused and shortly thereafter called her boyfriend who picked her up and went in search of the man.

“My boyfriends ask him why he raped me. He said he didn’t know anything ‘bout that. After a while he come on the bus. He ask him ‘well if you didn’t rape her then give me the phone and the money.’ We take him to the [police]
station,” she said.

The virtual complainant told the court she had very long nails that night and had scratched the accused on his stomach.

Meanwhile, during a scheduled confrontation between the virtual complainant and the accused at the Criminal Investigation Department on September 8, 2008 the accused apologized for his actions, according to the alleged victim.

“He said that he was sorry. That he took me for a white woman that was leaving the country. He said if it was fate he will serve the time,” the virtual complainant told the court.

Cross examination

The accused man was not represented by a lawyer. He was able to cross examine the virtual complainant during her testimony at High Court Wednesday. While addressing the virtual complainant he said he got scratches whenever he
worked.

“During the rape did you notice that the person had anything strange about the rapist testicles?” he asked the virtual complainant, to which she replied “I didn’t feel anything.”

It was then that the court learnt the accused man’s penis is ribbed. “My penis is ribbed … I have a marble whenever I’m having sex, it could damage her. Did you feel it?” he asked her.

However she responded, “I didn’t concentrate on marble. I was concentrating on my life.”

Meanwhile, six witnesses were called to testify. The first witness, a truck driver from Kingshill, was on the phone with the virtual complainant just before the incident. He recalled hearing her scream and then the phone cutting off.

“I tried calling her back. I didn’t get through,” he testified.

The young woman’s boyfriend, another witness, said when they met up with the accused man on September 4, 2008 the man denied the rape. “Friend tell him is not me,” the boyfriend recalled the accused man saying to his girlfriend.

“I tell him he should give her back her money and her phone. He said ‘let’s go for it.’ I drove to the police station,” he stated.

Intimidation

During his cross examination of the boyfriend, the accused man suggested that the boyfriend had intimidated him with a cutlass to get on the bus. When asked by the accused and Judge Brian Cottle if he had a cutlass, he answered, “Yes sir.”

All I wanted was some cocaine

Meanwhile, Corporal Jeffery James in his testimony said on September 6, 2008 he went to inform the accused that he was being investigated for rape. He also conducted an interview with the accused. In that interview the accused told Corporal James  that on August 16 all he thinking of was how he could obtain money to smoke cocaine.

“Then I passed this lady on the Kingshill road … I grabbed her by her hair by back and through the grab she collapsed under fright. I rolled over on the side of the road where there was grass. I grabbed her by her pant to pull her in the bush,” the accused told the police.

After that, the accused said he blocked the young woman’s mouth, pulled her and took her cell phone.

“I was about to turn my back .. but I get an erection and then I went to lie down on her. That was   when she revived and started pushing me…  I was moving on her body to sex, but she was pushing me so I broke on me. When I felt the embarrassment I pull up my pants and I grab whatever change that remained on the ground and ran away,” he said in a police statement.

However, in a turn of events at the court the accused man claimed that he was beaten by the police and that is why he gave that statement. “I felt intimidated at the time…they put me down to by knees, two officers came with two piece of stick,” the repeat offender alleged.

Doctor’s report

Dr. Robertson Thomas pointed out to the court that while there was a linear abrasion on the virtual complainant’s abdomen and a 7 centimeter linear abrasion on her left thigh, there was none in her vagina.

“There was no visible fissures, cuts, lacerations or bruises,” his medical report stated.

During his testimony he was asked by the jury if the man’s penis was ribbed whether there would be damage. “Yes if a man’s penis is ribbed there is a high probability that in a rape case there would have been more physical damage to the woman’s genital organ,” he replied.

Before handing down his sentence Judge Brian Cottle told the accused ”I visited the cells it’s not a nice place. So why you want to go back there?”

“If the jury found you guilty of rape you could have been sent to jail for 25 years,” Judge Cottle stated.

The accused  told the judge that he had been influenced by other offender. He tried to convince Justice Cottle that he should pay a fine and compensation to the virtual complainant. He said he was willing to change and his sister, a member of the police force, was also willing to see a change in him.

However, Cottle reminded him that he had attacked “this poor woman.”

Bunche had been remanded at the state prison on more than one occasion in the past.

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16 Comments

  1. syborg55
    January 21, 2010

    Attempted rape by force is still a crime,that should be punishable by a stiffer sentence…3 yrs,are you kidding me? anyone who rapes should have their Genitals Castrated…3 yrs,what a joke.

  2. I
    January 19, 2010

    I am a woman and I feel real sorry. I am trying to picture what I would have done. Maybe die. Anyway, she definitely needs counseling and support and encouragement from her family. I trust that she finds comfort in knowing that God loves her dearly.

    Also, I think that other woman can learn from those things. Alot of times we think it cannot happen to us.
    Due to the number of crimes taking place in Dominica now especially I am in by 7:30 latest. Not taking chances with the desperates out there.

  3. Anonymous
    January 18, 2010

    not enuff jail time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Hmmmm
    January 17, 2010

    Can someone tell me what a ribbed pennis is and what is he doing with the marble….

  5. dominican
    January 16, 2010

    THE INDICENT ASSAULT IS WHEN HE TOUCHED HER IN A MANNER THAT COULD BE VIEWED AS BEING SEXUAL. FOR EXAMPLE TOUCHING HER VAGINA OR BREASTS..THE RAPE IS IF HE ACTUALLY INSERTED HIS PENIS OR FINGERS INTO HER. THE DOCTOR’S TESTIMONY WAS CRITICAL IN FINDING HIM GUILTY FOR RAPE…THE FACT THAT SHE TOOK A BATH WASHED AWAY MOST OR ALL OF HIS DNA EVIDENCE THAT SHE MIGHT HAVE HAD IN HER. HER FIRST REACTION WAS TO TAKE A BATH BUT THAT WAS ALSO A MISTAKE.. BUT GIVEN THE CIRCUMSTANCES I CAN”T BLAME HER…

  6. Just An Idea
    January 16, 2010

    Not enough jail time. Twenty to thirty years would have satisfied my thirst for blood.

  7. January 15, 2010

    Excellent work on this article. It make for an interesting and easy read.

  8. S---V
    January 15, 2010

    I know this guy and it’s amazing what drugs does. Young ppl STAY AWAY from drugs. If he was the person that he used to be, he would be totally against somebody raping d young woman. This boy hardly uttered a word and d last time i saw him on d streets i could not even call him because he was just not d same person i knew. Sorry to hear about your incident but i’ll keep u in my prayers and i hope and pray that u get some counseling whilst in prison. To d young lady am sorry this had to happen to u and as a woman i really feel your pain. I’ll say a prayer for u, in order that u overcome such tragic moment. PEACE

  9. CHAMER
    January 15, 2010

    AM TRYING TO UNDERSTAND THIS CASE BUT I CANT .DID THIS GUY RAPE THE LADY?ANYWAY FOR ROBBERY I THINK HE DESERVE A COOL 8-10YRS HARD LABOUR LET OTHERS FAIR. THE LAW IS TO SLACK ON CRIMINALS THESE DAYS. A PERSON WHO COMMITES SURCH CRIMES NEEDS TO BE PUT AWAY FOR LONG PERIODS. WE MAKE TO MANY EXCUSES FOR THEM AND GIVE THEM TO LITTLE TIME. AM APPEALING TO GOVERNMENT TO BEGIN TO SEE TO IT THAT THESE PEOPLE BE PUT TO USE IN THE COUNTRY.LET THEM WORK FOR AT LEAST 16HRS A DAY WHILE SERVIG TIME. ALL THE DIRTY DRAINS CLEARING OUT THE ROAD SIDES . FORGET BACKHOES TO DIG SEND THEM OUT TO DO THE DIGING THEY WILL THEN FIND WORK TO DO

  10. sampo
    January 15, 2010

    So, if the woman had been a white tourist who was “leaving the country”, the rape would have been ok?

  11. January 15, 2010

    bad break good for u up to jail u must go i hate a swine .

  12. Baby
    January 15, 2010

    Am confused, what do they mean by his penis is ribbed? he claims he has a marble what is that?

    Can someone please help me with my naiveity, thank you!!

  13. mouth of the south
    January 15, 2010

    HELLO I NOT SEEING THE COMMENTS,,,, YET IT SAYS 3 COMMENTS AT THE TIME I CLICK IN,,,, I KNOW YA’LL DOING A GREAT JOB KEEP IT UP

  14. January 15, 2010

    but i doh understand. how they can find him guilty of indecent assault and not rape?!

  15. mouth of the south
    January 15, 2010

    if mr. manage to have unwanted sex with the woman n the doctor doh get any bruises then that woman better get some good councilling,,,, this is nothing funny,,, it could be any of our aunt’s,sisters or mothers,,,,,,, but i think the judge shoulda give mr 5 years,,,,, BUT if she claimed that she was raped jus to further incriminate him then that aint right but i doh blame her either,,,,, but one question,,, unless a man is masterbating,,, how can he ejaculate unless he was having sex,,,, i wonder if there were traces of semen on the woman’s clothing,,,,, ladies all this is valuable evidence

  16. January 15, 2010

    The punishment that they give those types of criminals is unbelievable.

    We need some people like ‘ YOU FOLLOW’ it’s not a joke man.

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