The Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal presently sitting in Grenada for the final time in 2017, on Monday upheld a 2016 eleven year jail sentence handed down to 36-year-old St Andrew church elder, Terry Noel who was convicted on two counts of rape.
Appeal Court Judges Madam Chief Justice Janice Pereira, Mario Michel and Gretel Thom ruled infavor of the eleven years jail time handed down byhigh Court Judge Paula Gilford, in June of 2016 when a nine-member jury panel found Noel guilty as charged.
Noel was convicted of raping a member of his church, the Soubise Seventh Day Adventist Church between January and August 2009 and August and December of 2010.
In his appeal, Noel sought to challenge both the conviction and sentence meted out to him by the High Court Judge
Among the grounds for the appeal, was failure on the part of the judge to direct the jury on the issue of character, the severity of the sentence handed down to him, and action on the part of the judge that would have given rise to a miscarriage of justice.
After deliberating on the matter the judges concluded that the trial judge’s action was justified on all grounds, and therefore overturned the appeal. It therefore means that the church elder will remain behind bars for the duration of his sentence.
Word of the incident at the time sparked widespread division among members of the congregation as some members felt the young lady was not truthful in her report to the police.
In fact reports at the time revealed that the young lady was barred from participating in certain activities at the church and was even accused by certain members of attempting to tarnish the good character of the convicted man.