Dec 28 2012

US forces accused of multiple rapes in Afghanistan

Published by under Afghanistan

US forces rape women in northern Afghanistan village

6 Dec 2012

The residents of a village in northern Afghanistan say American troopers raped several women during a nighttime raid in the rural community. The locals said that the incident took place in a village in the Chahar Bolak district of Afghanistan’s Balkh Province where US special forces carried out house-to-house searches, Afghanistan Information Network reported on Sunday. However, the name of the village was not disclosed as the villagers said they had been threatened by the commander of the US forces with “consequences” in case of complaining about the issue.

During the operation, the troopers separated the men and women of about 15 families and raped several women, the locals said.

Since the beginning of the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, American troopers have on different occasions abused Afghans. Last month, a US trooper involved in the mass killing of Afghan civilians in southern Afghanistan in March admitted to his crimes for the first time before a military court in the United States.

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Dec 28 2012

Reports of Torture and Rape Emerge From Iraqi Prisons

Published by under Iraq

Reports of Torture and Rape Emerge From Iraqi Prisons

Translated from Al-Hayat (Pan Arab).
26th December 2012

The Iraqi parliament’s Security and Defense Committee issued a report prepared by the prosecutor general confirming instances of torture and rape perpetrated against female prisoners. Calls were heard in the northern province of Ninevah for the prosecution of an officer accused of sexually assaulting a minor, while in the southern province of Basrah protests were held following the death of a prisoner under torture.

During a news conference yesterday, a member of the Security and Defense Committee, MP Hamid al-Mutlaq, said that “the prosecutor general has submitted today a report to the chairman of the Iraqi judiciary, Medhat al-Mahmoud, that confirms the occurrence of torture and violations and rape of women detained in Iraqi prisons. The report is based on confidential testimonies of female prisoners in Iraqi jails.” He further stated that “the report was based upon the recorded testimony of female prisoners and it confirms what has been recently stated by some parliamentary committees and human rights organizations: that violations, torture and rape of female prisoners in Iraqi prisons have indeed occurred.”

Mutlaq called for the government and the judiciary to put an end to these violations and protect the work done by confidential informants in accordance with Article IV of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

The release of this report coincided with the announcement by the governor of Ninevah, Atheel al-Nujaifi, that an officer in the second division of the Iraqi army had raped a minor on the outskirts of Mosul the day before yesterday.

Nujaifi said in his statement yesterday that “a horrific event took place yesterday on the outskirts of Mosul city. A girl under the age of 18 was raped and the accused perpetrator is a first lieutenant in the Iraqi army.”

The provincial council in Ninevah (some 400 km north of Baghdad) suspended its scheduled session in protest. Councilman Sheikh Salim Arab told Al-Hayat yesterday that “we cancelled our regular parliamentary session today in protest against the officer’s rape of a young girl. Afterward the governor attended and met the council president and explained to him the details of the case. He emphasized that the officer in charge of operations in Ninevah had contacted the ministry of defense and obtained approval from the ministry’s legal department to arrest him, while [noting that] the officer was currently being held by his unit and will be turned over for prosecution.”

He added further that “given the prosecutorial immunity awarded to officers he is being held at the directive of the minister of defense.”

This is the second instance of rape reported since last August, when a soldier assigned to the Al-Zubayr district raped a 14-year old girl and then killed her.

Arab stated that “many of the defendants are not brought to justice due to poor security conditions, or particular political circumstances. And sometimes, you have information without possessing evidence or conclusive proof that can be presented to the judge.”

Moreover, local officials and representatives announced that a detainee of the criminal division in Basrah died under torture.

MP Jawad al-Bazuni said to Al-Hayat that “provincial representatives visited the criminal division to investigate the matter after complaints from the detainee’s family and we found that his cause of death was severe beating and torture.” He added further that “according to the facts that have reached us so far, this individual was innocent and had been falsely arrested. Meanwhile the perpetrator remains at large.” He went on to say that “we must review [the behavior of] those who handle the accused or detainees. For this goes to very heart of the work being done by civil organizations attempting to institute international human rights norms.”

The chairman of the human rights committee in the provincial council, Hussein Ali, told Al-Hayat that “this issue is not new. Most officers charged with conducting interrogations in the security services deal with detainees in an illegal manner; the latter are subjected to regular beatings.” He continued, “Inhuman treatment of detainees does not only manifest itself in beatings, but in holding in areas unfit for housing prisoners and detainees. In some cells, 70 prisoners are being held in antiquated facilities bereft of public utilities.”

The director of the Human Rights Office in southern Iraq, Mahdi al-Tamimi, said that “according to the ministry’s information on the deceased, he passed away within the prison, but the cause of death is not yet clear.” He added that “the ministry has sent the corpse to the forensic medical department in order to ascertain the cause of death. After that is done, the Human Rights Office will be able to issue an appropriate response.”

The criminal court issued a verdict of execution yesterday for two gunmen belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq, an organization affiliated with al-Qaeda, and who received support from Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, who himself was sentenced to death in absentia.

The court issued a statement yesterday that it had “sentenced two gunmen to death who belonged to the group known as the Islamic State of Iraq, an affiliate of al-Qaeda” and noted that both “had received support from Tariq al-Hashemi, the vice president of the republic.”

The statement added further that “the court sentenced one officer holding the rank of corporal to death. He was one of the vice president’s close associates and was sentenced for his cooperation in placing a sticky bomb on the car of an officer in the interior ministry.”

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Dec 28 2012

Indefinite jail term for ‘dangerous’ soldier

Published by under Britain

Indefinite jail term for ‘dangerous’ soldier who raped young recruit
16th December 2012

A SOLDIER who was jailed for raping a young recruit as he slept will be behind bars indefinitely after top judges said he is “dangerous”. Former lance corporal Teejay Owen Bradshaw, 23, was based at Salisbury with 2 Rifles when he attacked the victim after a drinking session. He was convicted of rape, attempted sexual assault and seven counts of sexual assault – involving other troops – at a court martial held in Bulford last December.

Bradshaw was considered so dangerous he was given indefinite imprisonment for public protection (IPP), a sentence similar to a life term in that he can only be released when, and if, he is judged to be safe. Lady Justice Rafferty, sitting at the Court of Appeal, said there was enough evidence to suggest Bradshaw is “dangerous”, a legal term meaning he poses a serious risk to the public.

The court heard Bradshaw admitted he needed to address his drinking, but was struggling to come to terms with his sexuality, insisting he is heterosexual. However, he was the subject of numerous complaints of sexual offences against lower ranked soldiers, often persisting when they objected to his attention. He was warned by others and was under investigation when he went to one recruit’s room and raped him as he slept off a heavy drinking session.

Bradshaw, who had previously been in trouble for fighting, claimed the complaints were the result of misread horseplay by the other soldiers and that false allegations had been made to get back at him after he informed on other soldiers.

His barrister, Gareth Underhill, tried to overturn the open-ended IPP sentence, arguing that a term with a guaranteed release date was enough to protect the public. But giving her judgment, Lady Justice Rafferty, sitting with Mr Justice Globe and Mr Justice Leggatt, said Bradshaw had not confronted his problems.

“In our judgment, there is plainly made out a pattern of offending,” she said. “The appellant committed offences even when he knew he was under investigation. “In our opinion, there is plainly in the appellant a struggle on-going with aspects of his sexuality. He has a problem in him and will not, at the moment, address it.”

The decision means Bradshaw will stay behind bars for a minimum of four years and three months and only then released when the Parole Board considers him safe.

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Dec 16 2012

3 killed, others raped by Guinea army

Published by under Africa

3 killed, others raped by Guinea army

Associated Press
December 13, 2012

CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) A military crackdown on protesters in a remote Guinean town this week left three people dead and dozens more wounded, while at least three women were raped by soldiers, witnesses alleged Thursday. A defense official denied soldiers shot civilians, but the incident still added to concerns about Guinea’s army, which already has been implicated in a massacre and systematic rape in a country struggling to transition to democracy.

The crackdown occurred in the town of Gueckedou, located 700 kilometers (430 miles) southeast of Guinea’s capital, Conakry. Thousands of demonstrators there were calling for the resignation of a top regional official, and the army trucked in soldiers to disperse the protesters Tuesday. Witnesses said the army opened fire first with tear gas, then with live rounds.

“I can confirm that three bodies were logged into the register at the prefecture’s hospital in Gueckedou. The bodies have been buried. The wounded are still arriving. Some with stab wounds. Some with bullet wounds,” said Sayon Teliano, a local health worker who was called to the hospital to help. Speaking Thursday, with soldiers still in the town, Teliano said the forensic report found that the three people who died were struck by bullets.

Retired army Col. Kamano Faro, who resides in Gueckedou, said the army used the protest as a pretext to brutalize the town. He said along with the three dead, at least 103 people were hurt, and dozens of boutiques and stores were pillaged. “The army brought terror to our town,” Faro said. “In the neighborhood of Nongo, I saw soldiers going into people’s houses and breaking things. “I saw them grab the pots off of people’s fires, and eat the rice and the sauce that was inside. I know a pork seller, who was robbed of all his money. They even took his pig, and slaughtered it (to eat).”

Guinea, a nation of 10.2 million, spent much of its post-independence history under various types of military rule, starting with a 1984 coup by an army colonel, Lansana Conte. He died in office in 2008; hours later an army captain seized power. In 2009, when tens of thousands of demonstrators crowded into the national soccer stadium in Conakry to demand the army relinquish control, the captain’s elite red beret-wearing guard sealed the gates to the stadium. They then opened fire with machine guns, mowing down the protesters killing at least 157.

Women were also dragged onto the stadium turf, into the stands, under bleachers, and in neighboring structures and gang-raped by officers who stuffed their red berets into their mouths to silence them, a scene shocking even for this troubled region of Africa. Rape was allegedly another tactic used by the armed forces during this week’s crackdown.

Gueckedou resident Mariam Bayo said she was in the neighborhood of Kango at home when the soldiers arrived Tuesday. They began firing tear gas, and she ran as fast as she could to get away. She saw the soldiers grab one of her neighbors, a young woman around 20 years old. “It happened in front of me. They started firing the tear gas. I ran. So did the girl. Later, I went to her house to see if she was OK. They had raped her. She’s wounded, but we are too afraid to go out, so we are trying to treat her at home,” Bayo said.

Sia Mama, another resident, described the rape of a female relative. “She had gone outside to get water from the well. The soldiers were there and they saw her and forced her back into the house,” Mama said. “They raped her right in front of her husband.”

Karine Kamano, a local community activist, said in one neighborhood, soldiers chased after a teen age girl, catching her and pinning her down. Her injuries from the rape were severe enough that her family reached out to Kamano for help. “I’m the one that arranged to take her to the hospital,” she said.

Reached late Thursday, the minister in charge of defense, Abdoul Kabele Camara, denied that the military had shot civilians. “That’s totally false. Not a single soldier fired a single shot at Gueckedou. The police and the gendarmes were in charge of maintaining order. Those three people who died there, they were killed by other protesters,” he said.

A communique read on state radio Thursday said a government delegation traveled to Gueckedou and met with community leaders in an effort to calm the situation. The government has not released an official version of what happened.

Guinea held its first-ever democratic election in 2010, after the army finally ceded power to civilians following the intense international condemnation of the Sept. 28, 2009 stadium massacre. But progress has been slow to come. And despite having the world’s largest supply of bauxite, the raw material used to make aluminum, as well as steel, diamonds, gold and timber, Guinea’s people remain mired in poverty.

One of the fundamental problems is a lack of accountability for the army. All of the soldiers implicated in the 2009 massacre remain at-large. And a colonel named by Human Rights Watch and U.N. investigators as a principal aggressor in the rapes and killings has continued to hold an important government post, despite scores of victims who saw him at the stadium.

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Nov 15 2012

Soldier charged in death of wife, rape of child

Published by under usa

Soldier charged in death of wife, rape of child at JBLM

November 15, 2012

The Army has charged a soldier in an August homicide at Joint Base Lewis-McChord that the victim’s family said was the result of the soldier fatally stabbing his wife. Sgt. Robert S. Chiaravallotti, 41, is charged with murder, rape of a child and assault of a child. The alleged murder and assault involved a stabbing, according to the charging document.

The Army previously said it was investigating an Aug. 25 homicide at JBLM and had apprehended a suspect who was a soldier not assigned to the base. The charges, recently obtained by The News Tribune, were signed Sept. 7. The papers do not go into detail but allege Chiaravallotti fatally stabbed a woman and raped and stabbed on the forehead a child under age 16. Chiaravallotti’s pretrial hearing, known as an Article 32 hearing, is scheduled for December. An Army judicial officer will recommend whether the case should go forward or be modified.

Chiaravallotti was assigned to the Eighth Army Band in South Korea, according to the Army. The charging papers do not name the woman killed, but Teresa Glowacki contacted The News Tribune in August and identified herself as the victim’s mother. She said her daughter, Dionne Elizabeth Chiaravallotti, had been fatally stabbed by her husband, Robert S. Chiaravallotti.

Dionne Chiaravallotti, who would have been 40 on Thanksgiving, had five children with Robert Chiaravallotti and two previous husbands, her mother said. The youngest just started kindergarten, and the oldest is 18. Glowacki said her daughter moved to JBLM in June 2011 after living in Huntington Beach, Calif., for about a year with a relative while her husband was in Afghanistan. The family had planned to join him in South Korea, Glowacki said.

Glowacki remembered her daughter as an active child who trained as an ice skater in junior high school and was in several beauty competitions as a teenager. Her elementary school in Newport Beach, Calif., was about 100 yards from the ocean, so that’s where family and friends spread some of her ashes in September.

The sea was a big part of her upbringing. As a teen, she lived with her mother and stepfather on a 52-foot boat. They traveled to Mexico, Costa Rica, the Bahamas, Panama – “through the canal, of course,” Glowacki said. They put 35,000 miles on the boat.

It made for a hands-on education, Glowacki said. At each port, her daughter would write a report about the history of the area for her correspondence classes. The family spent two months visiting the museums at the Smithsonian Institution.

Dionne Chiaravallotti earned her GED and attended culinary school. She was interested in cooking “from Day 1,” Glowacki said. “She could make anything.” Her goal was to be featured on “Hell’s Kitchen,” and she dreamed of one day going to Italy. Mother and daughter cooked together when she was little, and the grandchildren reaped the benefits. “Those kids ate better than most people eat anywhere,” Glowacki said. “I wish I could have protected her more. It’s hard when it’s your only baby.”

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Oct 21 2012

Ex-soldier Paul Taylor denies 1970s rapes and murder

Published by under Britain

Ex-soldier Paul Taylor denies murder of Sally McGrath

21 October 2012

The trial has started of a man who is accused of murdering a woman in the 1970s as well as a string of rapes in the area. The body of Sally McGrath, 22, was partially buried in the Wild Boar Spinney near Castor and Ailsworth in March 1980. She was last seen alive at a pub in Peterborough in July 1979. Her killer could not be found despite a major police investigation.

Former soldier Paul Taylor, 60, originally from Peterborough and now living in Fareham, Hampshire, was arrested last year. Taylor appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court this week, charged with Miss McGrath’s murder along with three counts of rape, one attempted rape, a serious sexual assault and an indecent assault. The sexual offences relate to three different women and took place in villages between Stamford and Peterborough. Taylor denies the charges.

Prosecutor Karim Khalil told Chelmsford Crown Court that Taylor was married at the time of the 1979 offences. He openly slept with other women, regularly going for “quickies”, but insisted in a police interview the relationships were always consensual. Mr Khalil described Taylor as a man “brimming with confidence who had the capacity to be an engaging flirt and a ladies’ man”. But he said he had the “capacity to become violent very quickly”.

At the start of the trial, the court heard that a teenager was raped just yards from where it is alleged Taylor later dumped the body of Peterborough woman Sally McGrath. One of the charges relates to an accusation he raped a 17-year-old woman at Castor Hanglands on June 28, 1979, just a few days before Miss McGrath went missing. She disappeared on July 11, 1979, after reports she was seen drinking with Taylor and two other people at the Bull Hotel, in Peterborough.

Taylor, who was on bail at the time for a burglary, failed to sign on at the police station that day, which he was required to do. His wife also told police he was breaking his curfew on that day, and just a few days later he advertised his blue van for sale. But the court heard Taylor allegedly carried out sexual assaults before Miss McGrath went missing. The court also heard testimonies from three women, two of whom claimed they were raped by Taylor.

The trial, which is expected to last for up to eight weeks, continues.

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Oct 16 2012

2 U.S. soldiers arrested for raping woman in Okinawa

Published by under Japan,usa

2 U.S. soldiers arrested for raping woman in Okinawa

Adam Westlake
October 16th, 2012

Two United States servicemen were arrested by Okinawa police on Tuesday for the gang-raping of a Japanese woman. The attack took place sometime just before dawn on Tuesday morning, and the two men were taken into custody late in the afternoon. With an anti-U.S. military sentiment already running high among the people of Okinawa after the deployment of the controversial MV-22 Osprey aircrafts this month, a terrible incident such as this will only further ignite tensions.

NHK, Japan’s national television broadcaster, reports that the American men are both 23 years old, and have been accused of the assault and rape of the woman. One of the sailors has admitted to Okinawa police his participation in the attack, while the other denies any involvement. Incidents of crime in Okinawa involving U.S. military personnel often result in large outpourings of anger, and this case sadly echoes a 1995 rape of a 12 year old Okinawan girl by several servicemen.

With roughly 47,000 U.S. soldier stationed in Japan, the people of Okinawa feel it unjust that they alone carry the burden of hosting half. The 1995 crime sparked a long-standing protest to reduce the number of soldiers in Okinawa and relocate the U.S. Military’s bases off the island. Agreements and progress have been held up for years, with Okinawans feeling they have been given nothing but empty promises, while the U.S. maintains that the island is vital for strategic and defensive purposes in the Asian region.

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Sep 28 2012

‘Hero’ charged with rape and trafficking teenager

Published by under Afghanistan,Iraq,usa

Former soldier charged with rape and trafficking teenager

Deanna Boyd
Sep. 20, 2012

FORT WORTH — A former soldier was charged Thursday with human trafficking and sexual assault of a child after police say he gave alcohol and drugs to a 14-year-old girl he’d picked up from a mall, had sex with her, and then later made her strip and have sex for money.

Nathan Tatarko, 30, of Fort Worth, faces charges of trafficking a person under age 18, a first-degree felony, and sexual assault of a child, a second-degree felony. A friend of Tatarko’s, 26-year-old Elliott T. Reed of Benbrook, was charged Wednesday with sexual assault of a child for having sex with the underage girl.

Police said the girl had been dropped off at Ridgmar Mall on Aug. 11 and was walking outside in the rain when Tatarko pulled up and asked her if she wanted to get inside. Though she did not know Tatarko, the girl agreed, said Sgt. Pedro Criado, a police spokesman.

Criado said Tatarko gave the girl alcohol and later took her to a house to visit Reed. There, the trio did drugs and both men had sex with the girl, Criado said. Over the next couple of days, Tatarko then drove the girl to various gaming businesses where he had her strip for customers for money, Criado said. He later took the girl to a gas station, where he had her solicit sex for money from a man, Criado said. Criado said the girl followed Tatarko’s orders and gave the money she earned to Tatarko.

On Aug. 13, the girl was still with Tatarko when Fort Worth police pulled him over on a traffic stop, Criado said. Told by Tatarko to lie about her name and age, the girl identified was identified through fingerprints, Criado said. Once separated from Tatarko, Criado said the girl admitted to police what had taken place.

Tatarko previously served in the Army and had been deployed twice to the Middle East, once to Iraq and more recently to Afghanistan, according to his Facebook and MySpace profiles. His MySpace page includes several photographs taken during his Army career, including one of him posing with Sarah Palin at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany.

Tarrant County records show Tatarko was charged last month with burglary of a vehicle and possession of a controlled substance. According to a police report of the case, a man said he saw someone in a black Dodge Challenger or Charger steal a chainsaw from the bed of his pickup Aug. 4. The man was down the street and ran toward the truck but the driver sped away. The man told police he managed to break the suspect’s back window by throwing a beer bottle at the fleeing car.

On Aug. 16, police patrolling a motel in west Fort Worth known for drug activity spotted a black Dodge Challenger with a back window broken out. Tatarko was arrested and later charged with burglary of a vehicle and possession of methamphetamines. He had been out on bond when he was arrested last week on the more recent charges. He remained in the Mansfield jail Thursday with bail set at $200,000. Reed was also arrested last week and remains in the Tarrant County Jail with bail set at $100,000.

The lead investigator on the case was Fort Worth police Detective Manny Reyes, who is assigned to the North Texas Trafficking Task Force.

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Sep 18 2012

Somali woman helping rape victims wins U.N. award

Published by under somalia

Somali woman helping rape victims wins U.N. award

September 18, 2012

GENEVA (Reuters) – Hawa Aden Mohamed won the United Nations refugee agency’s Nansen Refugee Award on Tuesday for her work in helping thousands of Somali women and girls, many of them rape victims, start new lives in their battered homeland.

Mohamed, 63, is a former Somali refugee who returned from safety in Canada to her war-torn country in 1995, launching an education program in Puntland to shelter and train Somalis who have fled war, famine and violence, it said. “When Hawa Aden Mohamed rescues a displaced girl, a life is turned around,” U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said in a statement.

Known as “Mama Hawa”, she founded the Galkayo Education Centre for Peace and Development which has assisted more than 215,000 displaced and victims of violence since 1999, it said.

“In a society like Somalia, it’s very often that a woman or a girl is raped and they are severely marginalized thereafter. So what she has done is given them is a home, a new start, hope for a new life and their dignity back,” UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming told a news briefing.

Young Somali boys also receive vocational training in carpentry and welding to keep them off the streets and avoid them falling prey to criminal or armed groups, the agency said.

Somalia’s new president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud took office on Sunday, calling for an end to terrorism and piracy in a nation mired in conflict for more than two decades. More than two million people have been displaced.

Recent laureates include the late U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy for sponsoring asylum legislation and former British soldier Chris Clark for removing mines in Lebanon, allowing displaced people to return home after Israel’s 2006 invasion.

Mohamed, currently in hospital in Kenya recovering from surgery, is expected to attend the awards ceremony in Geneva on October 1, Fleming said.

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Sep 17 2012

North Wales ex-soldier jailed for indecent assault

Published by under Britain

North Wales ex-soldier jailed for indecent assault

11th September 2012

A FORMER soldier has been jailed after his perverted past caught up with him. Alan Edwards from Wrexham, who served in the army for 20 years, was found guilty of indecently assaulting a young girl for a six-year period in the late 1980s.

In a four-day trial a court heard Edwards’ action had “blighted the girl’s childhood” and his conviction had brought her some relief.

Edwards, 75, of St Margaret’s Way, Acton, is now disabled and using a wheelchair. Jailing him for two years yesterday Judge Peter Heywood, sitting at Caernarfon Crown Court, said: “Over a significant period of time you carried out a catalogue of sexual offences for your own gratification. Her childhood was blighted because she did not understand what was happening. If I were dealing with you then, when you were a man in your 50s, you would be going to prison for something like four to five years. But time marches on and I have to give regard to your age, your health and the fact you have not offended since.”

The judge ruled Edwards must register as a sex offender for the next 10 years but made no other orders. During the trial at Mold Crown Court in July a jury was told he became obsessed with a little girl and sexually abused her. Prosecuting barrister Wyn Lloyd Jones said he would dress up in women’s clothing – and made his own false breasts from papier mâché – and played sexual games with the girl.

Edwards, who sat outside the dock in his wheelchair throughout his trial, had denied 10 charges dating back nearly 30 years. Yesterday he made his way into the dock using a walking stick. Members of his family were in the public gallery. Edwards, who served with The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) and who later worked as a security officer before his retirement, had insisted to the jury there was no truth whatsoever in the allegations against him, which had come as a complete shock.

Sentence had been adjourned for reports to be prepared.

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