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No bail for fisherman accused of raping girl, 13

By AZARD ALI Thursday, September 4 2014

click on pic to zoom in
RAPE ACCUSED: Mitra Balchan, 27, a fisherman of Otaheite Bay, South Oropouche, is escorted out of the San Fernando Magistrates' Court yesterday after ...
RAPE ACCUSED: Mitra Balchan, 27, a fisherman of Otaheite Bay, South Oropouche, is escorted out of the San Fernando Magistrates' Court yesterday after ...

A 27-YEAR-OLD fisherman appeared before a magistrate in San Fernando yesterday charged with six counts of having sex with a girl under 14 and one count each of rape and buggery.

Mitra Balchan, 27, of Otaheite Bay, South Oropouche, appeared before Deputy Chief Magistrate Mark Wellington, in the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court, who did not grant him bail on the ground that the allegations were very serious. Balchan was arrested at the weekend by police officers of the Ste Madeleine Police Station and charged with eight sexual offences.

When Balchan was taken before Wellington his eyes were swollen. Newsday learned he had been beaten by prisoners. Balchan was not placed in the cell block where prisoners are taken before being escorted, via the holding bay, into the prisoners’ cage in the First Court.

Instead he was taken into the courthouse through the public entrance and seated on a bench.

The magistrate read six charges to him that between December last year and last month, he had sex with a girl under the age of 14, at Victoria Village, Cross Crossing, near San Fernando. The magistrate read the six charges separately to Balchan which identified certain dates in which he is alleged to have had sex with the girl.

The charges stemmed from reports that were investigated by Corporal Sheldon Callender of the Ste Madeleine Police Station, that the girl, said to be 13 years old, was sexually abused.

Wellington also read another charge to Balchan that he raped the girl and on August 27, he committed an act of buggery on her. The eight charges were laid indictably and Balchan was not called upon to plead. He was not represented and Wellington asked, “Where you from Sir?” Balchan answered that he was from Otaheite Bay, South Oropouche. Wellington then told him that due to the number of charges of the same nature he was faced with, the court was not minded to grant him bail.

“Sir I can’t grant you bail due to the nature and number of charges,” Wellington said.

The court police prosecutor, PC Cleyon Seedan, said he would produce a criminal record, if any, of the accused.

Wellington, however, advised Balchan to apply to a judge in chambers.

After Wellington postponed the case to October 1 and remanded Balchan into custody, police officers escorted him through the public gallery.

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