November 26, 2020

The Editor Speaks: A winning streak but the same problems

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I breathed a sigh of relief after Chief Justice Anthony Smellie found Philip Rose guilty of rape, assault and abduction last Monday (19). The RCIPS are on a winning streak. This case was particularly nasty as Rose had emotionally and physically abused his victim over a two and half year period after she broke off their relationship. Rose in his defense denied the allegations and pointed the finger at his accuser saying he was the one being abused from a jealous and controlling woman who had contrived all the allegations against him after he had rejected her.

The victim, however, stated she had been stalked “every minute of the day.” Rose, she said was “always just 10 metres away.” He had controlled her entire life through fear and intimidation. He followed her to and from work and whenever she went out; he repeatedly turned up and knocked on the window of her apartment; he constantly called and texted her cell phones and her office line, making abusive threats. Not content with physically assaulting her, this fiend also raped her six times!
The victim took pictures of her injuries and saved a lot of the phone, text and emails that Rose had made and sent to her. Judge Smellie said, “The messages were threatening and violent and illustrative of the state of mind of the defendant. They revealed an obsessive, controlling and arrogant man who refused to accept he had been rejected. The nature of the messages made it clear that they were not empty threats, as claimed by the defendant, but evidence of the abuse.”

Rose even abducted her, keeping her captive in his own home for over two days, continually abusing, assaulting and raping her whilst she suffered from concussion. She eventually made her escape by going to Canada but the messages she got from Rose became even more threatening.

Unfortunately we now hear how the victim’s trust in the RCIPS had been undermined.  The Chief Justice noted that at the very start of her ordeal she said a complaint she filed was lost. Later, with what he described as “the lackadaisical” efforts by the Family Support Unit, the records of her complaints there were also lost. The victim was put off too by the dismissive manner in which she claimed she was treated when she had first approached the police to make a report.

Words almost failed me when I read this. How many times and how many years have we been hearing about files being lost by the RCIPS? When is this “couldn’t care less attitude” by seemingly poorly trained officers going to end? Has the RCIPS now hired some compassionate and caring officers? What a courageous lady the victim is to have to report everything again to the police and have to relive all these atrocities at the trial.

I sincerely hope the Commissioner, David Baines, has taken note of everything that has happened, which occurred not on his watch, and has taken all the necessary steps to make sure it will not happen again. I wonder if an inquiry will be conducted by Mr. Baines to see if disciplinary action should be taken against the officers who abandoned this poor woman? I hope so. At the very least this lady deserves an apology from the RCIPS.

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