St Vincent man sentenced to 43 years for rape found not guilty on retrial

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St Vincent man sentenced to 43 years for rape found not guilty on retrial

A St Vincent man who was sentenced in 2012 to 43 years in prison for rape, aggravated burglary, and wounding has been acquitted of those charges after a fourth trial.

A jury of five women and four men returned not guilty verdicts on each count of Jolan Hepburn’s indictment on Tuesday.

He had been accused of committing the offences between April 20 and 23, 2011.

Defence counsel Michael Wyllie, who represented Hepburn, successfully argued that the virtual complainant had misidentified his client as her assailant.

“The most ridiculous issue, in this case, is that the police had in their possession the two most definitive pieces of scientific evidence to establish the identity of a person and did not utilise them – that is, DNA and fingerprint.

No two persons have the same DNA or fingerprints, not even twins,” Wyllie told CMC News after his client’s acquittal.

The trial hinged on the identity of the man who the virtual complainant (VC) said raped her after striking her in the head in her home in April 2012 and the defence argued that several things went wrong with the ID parade.

Wyllie also argued that the description the virtual complainant gave police of the assailant in her statement was different from what she gave in her evidence-in-chief.