Categorized | Featured, National News

Birbal Guilty –Acquitted of Four Charges

Former Eight Mile Rock high school teacher Andre Birbal was found guilty yesterday on two counts of unnatural sex.

The six-woman, three-man jury returned the unanimous guilty verdict on Tuesday afternoon and concluded that the 51-year-old did commit the crimes from January through June 2002 and then again from September 2003 to January 2004.

During the one week trial, the court heard emotional testimonies from Birbal’s victim who was 12-years-old and in the seventh grade when the first incident took place.

The young man, now in his mid -20’s and with a family of his own, recalled two incidents, one that took place in Birbal’s classroom and the other through an abandoned corner in Deadman’s Reef.

The victim testified that on both occasions Birbal penetrated his bottom, either with his finger or his male private part.

The victim’s mother also testified during the trial and admitted to the court that while she was not very involved in her son’s life, he knew she loved him.

Initially Birbal was charged with six counts of unnatural sex from 2007 to 2012.

However, legal issues found that Birbal should be acquitted of counts three through six, leaving him to only be tried for counts one and two.

The jury handed down a unanimous not guilty verdict on the latter charges but unanimous guilty verdicts on the first two counts.

Birbal’s attorney Ramona Farquharson-Seymour said she knows her client is grateful for the acquittal on four of the six counts, but added that he is definitely shaken by the others.

She, however, could not say if an appeal is the next step.

“I have not had a chance to canvas that issue with my client,” Mrs. Farquharson-Seymour said.

“I will make efforts to go to the prison and see him and then go from there. But I think our primary concern right now is to deal with sentencing. He would have been remanded for quite a bit of time, I think from 2009 or 2010. These are sexual offense matters. So we have to certainly look at the law and be ready to address the judge in terms of what sentence should be passed.”

She said the sentence will have to be based on the amount of time he has already spent in prison.

“The changes that are in place now, certainly it will have to be custodial sentence,” she said.

“That’s why I’m saying I certainly have to look at the report that the probation or Social Services officer will prepare and then look at the time that he’s already served. Then I will have to obviously plead with the judge to give him as little time as he possibly can.”

Birbal’s was remanded to Her Majesty’s Prison.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 9 at 10:00 a.m.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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