Selwyn Lancaster of Linden, who was convicted by a jury last month for raping and engaging in sexual activity with a six-year-old girl, has now moved to the Court of Appeal where he is arguing that the guilty verdicts were “unreasonable” and cannot be supported having regard to the evidence adduced at his trial.

On October 09, 2019, Lancaster, 45, was found guilty by a jury for engaging in sexual penetration with the young girl on October 8, 2018. He was also found guilty of engaging in sexual activity with her by touching her vagina about a month later, on November 6, 2018. Based on reports, Lancaster exposed himself to the young child and forced his penis into her mouth and touched her vagina before fleeing. He was later arrested and charged.

On the rape charge, he was sentenced to serve 15 years’ imprisonment. He was handed a seven years jail sentence on the sexual activity charge. Trial Judge Simone Morris-Ramlall ordered that the two sentences run concurrently.

In an official Notice of Appeal filed at the Court of Appeal, Lancaster’s lawyers Gordon Gilhuys and Yondessa Welcome-Mercurius said that their client is dissatisfied with the judgment delivered by Justice Morris-Ramlall and is asking that it be set aside and that costs be awarded to him.

Among the 11 grounds of appeal, the lawyers are arguing that there was a miscarriage of justice since they were denied the opportunity of questioning the virtual complainant or any witness about the previous sexual activity of the virtual complainant, which went to their client’s disadvantage.

The lawyers also argue that the trial judge misdirected the jury when she directed them that they can convict Lancaster on the evidence of the virtual complainant alone, once they find that it was credible in disregard of the inconsistencies in the evidence of other key witnesses. Lancaster’s lawyers argue, too, that the judge’s summing up was unbalanced and favoured the prosecution’s case.

The Court of Appeal is still to set a hearing date for this matter.

Following the jury’s verdict, the trial Judge had inquired of Lancaster if he had anything to say. Lancaster replied: “I really don’t have anything to say.”

The rape survivor, through a Probation Officer, expressed that she still feels sad and gets angry any time she sees Lancaster. She added, “My head hurts. I feel sad because of what he did to me. I don’t trust some people anymore. I want Selwyn to go to jail because of what he did to me.”


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