A St Michael man, found guilty of serious indecency against a 19-year-old, lost his freedom today.
Madam Justice Jacqueline Cornelius issued the order after a jury returned “a majority verdict” against George Lamar McLawrence of 7th Avenue, Skeete’s Road, The Ivy, in the No. 5 Supreme Court this afternoon after over two hours of deliberations.
“Ma’am I would like to object to that,” McLawrence said after Senior Crown Counsel Krystal Delaney made the application that his bail be revoked.
“I have been coming to the courts from since pretrial hearings and I have never once missed a court date . . . . I am employed at this point and [have to] take care of my two children and I believe that I should be granted bail once again,” he said.
However, Delaney argued that McLawrence had now been convicted of a “very serious offence” that carries up to ten years in prison.
She explained that his status had changed as he was now convicted and it was on that basis that the Crown objected to bail.
Justice Cornelius agreed with the prosecution saying the charge was very serious and one for which McLawrence was “likely to have a substantial term of imprisonment”.
McLawrence had denied committing the act on the teen on September 28, 2008.
However, when the young man gave his evidence in court recently he said he left Sheraton Mall around 9 p.m. that Saturday night and took a van to Bridgetown.
Six people, he explained, disembarked the vehicle and when he was about to do so the driver told him he would take him home.
After several stops, he said McLawrence took him to The Belle, St Michael where he was ordered to remove his pants and underwear. When he refused, the teen said McLawrence put a scissors to his neck and touched his penis for about “a minute or so” and when he tried to do more, pushed him away.
That action, he said, caused the driver to apply more pressure with the scissors, causing him to become fearful. The teen also admitted that at that point he started to cry and was told to put back on his clothes. McLawrence took him home about 3 a.m. the following day.
His mother, who gave evidence, told the judge her son was always “slow” and on that day, she kept looking at the clock and through the window, as he was not in the habit of coming home at that time.
The mother said her son was “irritated” when he arrived and when she asked him what was the matter he told her he was “kidnapped by a van” and all the other details. She contacted the police.
Yesterday in court McLawrence told the jury he “never did” any of the things of which he was accused.
“The complainant said I offered to take him home, which I never did. He said I took him to The Belle . . . . He said I told him to take off his underwear and pants [and] with him failing to do such that I threatened him. I never did. This event never took place. I never did . . . commit the crime,” the public service vehicle driver said.
Today, seven members of the nine-person jury disagreed and found him guilty of the offence.
“Ma’am is it possible that I can appeal the verdict,” McLawrence asked, to which the judge said he could, but first he had to be sentenced.
She then ordered a pre-sentencing report into his life and adjourned the case until November 26.