When a St Michael mother heard her little girl had been attacked, she armed herself with a cutlass and went searching for the man who had hurt her.
She was unable to find the perpetrator who was later picked up by police and taken to the Psychiatric Hospital for assessment before he appeared in court on Thursday and said the 12-year-old girl had actually asked him to rape her.
The man, Noel Rommell Washington, of Lewis Gap, Green Hill, St Michael, pleaded guilty to unlawfully assaulting the girl on March 15, 2021, when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ian Weekes.
The District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court heard that the child was running an errand for her mother and was walking through a track in the community to get to a shop when she saw Washington a short distance away.
When she looked back, she saw him running towards her so she stepped out of the way. Instead of passing her, however, Washington tackled her, grabbed her, put his hand over her mouth and her hands behind her back, and wrestled her to the ground.
When they fell, the child was able to free herself and escape.
Sergeant Victoria Taitt, who read the facts, said the girl went home and told her mother what had happened. The woman returned to the track, with a cutlass in hand, but did not find the man.
“The story got little flaws in it. I didn’t put my hands on her mouth. I just grabble her by her shoulders. She was asking me to rape she. Just a simple situation,”
Washington said as those in the court gasped in shock.
Chief Magistrate Weekes responded: “You are saying a 12-year-old girl asked you to rape her?”
Washington replied: “Yes, Sir”.
“We got a problem,” the magistrate then said, before asking Washington whether he had received any medication from the Psychiatric Hospital.
“Sir, the shop got cameras. She was saying, ‘if you pun mek sport, you gine understand what time it is’. She told me to rape she. That is what mek me follow she.”
Washington was questioned further and said he did not know the girl’s age at the time, as she had recently moved to the area.
“I didn’t know she was a little girl. There is camera proof of what she said. It going to help me with my story,” he added.
“It is a case of you being a danger to others,” the Chief Magistrate responded as he ordered a presentencing report on Washington who said he was on medication from the Psychiatric Hospital which he took twice daily.
“This is a very serious matter. That is a little girl that needs to be protected.” Weekes also queried whether Washington understood that the child’s mother had gone looking for him with a cutlass.
“Yes, Sir,” he replied.
Asked whether he was surprised at the mother’s action, Washington said, “no, Sir”.
Weekes said: “Emotions obviously ran very high for this mother . . . . I am sure a number of young ladies living in that area will not be using that track anytime soon.”
He also expressed concern that Washington seemed not to understand the gravity of his actions.
“This is extremely heinous, in my view – an attack on a 12-year-old girl that must be safe in the community. I don’t think people who are taking care of you all can manage it and if they can’t manage it they need to hand it over to the authorities so that we can take care of it.
You don’t seem to be having rational thoughts; sounds a little outrageous. It can be that it is your condition talking . . . but I cannot have you out there, out and about,” the Chief Magistrate said as he remanded Washington to Dodds pending sentencing.
He will reappear before the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court on August 19.