Stalker found guilty of rape
(CNS): A man who systematically stalked, harassed, abused and sexually assaulted his former lover was found guilty of rape, assault and abduction by the chief justice Monday. Philip Rose was convicted of the crimes following a judge alone trial in which the court heard how he had emotionally and physically abused his victim over a two and half year period after she broke off their relationship. Rose had denied the offences, accusing his victim of being an abusive, jealous and controlling woman who had contrived the allegations against him after he had rejected her. However, as a result of telephone messages, texts and emails that his victim had kept over the period of abuse, along with other evidence, the judge took a different view.
Chief Justice Anthony Smellie presided over the trial of the George Town man in November when, over three days of evidence, the victim, a former executive of the Cayman Islands branch of a major bank, recounted a harrowing ordeal of abuse in which she became trapped through fear and embarrassment.
She described being stalked “every minute of the day”, with Rose being “always just 10 metres away” controlling her entire life through fear and intimidaiton. He followed her to and from work and whenever she went out; he repeatedly turned up and knocked on the window of her apartment; he constantly called and texted her cell phones and her office line, making abusive threats. He also physically assaulted her and raped her on some six occasions.
The victim had made some attempts to contact the police during her ordeal but had failed to follow through with the reports as a result of a number of what the judge described as complex issues and because of fear of her abuser.
She had, however, reported the rape and abuse to a local counsellor and had seen a doctor after two physically violent assaults that Rose had committed against her, long before she eventually transferred to Canada and filed her complaint against him.
As well as taking pictures of her injuries received at the hands of Rose, the victim had also saved a significant number of the phone messages, texts and emails that Rose had made and sent to her from when the abuse and stalking first started after she broke up with him to when she had moved to Toronto.
It was these messages that the judge said painted a very different scenario from the one claimed by the defendant that he was the victim of a jealous, scorned woman’s false allegations. The telephone messages were exceptionally abusive and aggressive, littered with expletives and profanities as well as frightening threats. The judge said the messages were threatening and violent and illustrative of the state of mind of the defendant.
In his verdict, in which he found Rose guilty of six counts of rape, two of assault causing actual bodily harm and one of abduction, the judge said that despite some behaviour on the part of the victim that may seem hard to understand, he was satisfied she was telling the truth about her ordeal and in particular the specific counts on the indictment.
He said the aggressive and abusive telephone messages revealed an “obsessive, controlling and arrogant man who refused to accept he had been rejected.” The nature of the messages made it clear that they were not empty threats, as claimed by the defendant, but evidence of the abuse.
The judge found that the victim had not contrived the allegations after the event, in part because he said the messages began at the point when the victim claimed she had ended the relationship.
The victim had admitted to having a consensual affair with Rose when she was going through a difficult period in her own marriage. She had met him in a West Bay Road bar in 2006, where she had given him her number, and soon after they developed a largely sexual relationship that lasted for around five months before she discovered that Rose, who was also married and claiming to be going through a divorce, had many other lovers.
She told the court that on the day the victim broke off the relationship he changed and become aggressive, abusive and threatening. He told her that she belonged to him and he would never let her go.
For more than two years he was true to that threat and it was not until he abducted her and kept her captive in her own home for more than two days abusing, assaulting and raping her whilst she suffered from a concussion that she finally confided in her boss at the bank and systematically began to plan her escape and formally reported the crimes to the police.
The judge noted that the victim’s trust in the police had been undermined at the very start as she said a complaint she filed was lost. Later, with what he described as "the lackadaisical" efforts by the Family Support Unit, the records of her complaints there were also lost. The victim was put off too by the dismissive manner in which she claimed she was treated when she had first approached the police to make a report.
The victim finally broke through her silence, which was caused by a combination of fear for her safety, fear over losing her career, of him interfering with her immigration status, public exposure and embarrassment, as well of a feeling that she had caused the problem. Fearing that he really would kill her the next time, she revealed her ordeal.
When she made her escape to Canada, the messages from Rose were even more aggressive and threatening, despite claiming that he was the one who had by that time broken off what he claimed to be a continuously consensual relationship. When he finally realised that she was following through with the report and revealing her ordeal to the authorities, Rose left the Cayman Island for Panama where he was arrested in February of this year.
During the trial the victim admitted going along with Rose on occasions when he demanded and letting him into her apartment, where she had given reluctant consent to sex as she said sometimes it was just easier to give in because of the relentless harassment and a way to gain some piece of mind.
“I was embarrassed and I was scared and I did not know where to turn,” the victim had revealed in her evidence, adding that she really believed Rose’s threats that he would kill her or her husband.
In his verdict, which took three hours to deliver, the judge noted that consent when given as a result of force fear and intimidation was not consent.
Prior to the trial Rose had pleaded guilty to one of the counts against him, which was for abusing the complainant via an IT network in connection with the texts, emails and phone messages he sent.
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