Rapist gets 18 years for attacking church friend

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Errol Phillip, a married father who raped his long-time church friend, got a prison sentence of 18 years for the offence which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
The man, who was 28 at the time of the incident on September 12, 2015, had denied the allegation, but a jury found him guilty, and on Friday, Justice Keith Thom sentenced him.
During the case, which was prosecuted by Crown Counsel Shannon Jones-Gittens, the jury heard that Phillip and his victim used to attend church together some years ago, and they had both been baptised.
The victim, who was 18, looked up to Phillip as a role model, and after they had left the church where they had gotten baptised, they occasionally spoke with each other and had gone to the beach together on one occasion.
On that outing, he tried to kiss her but she rejected his advances. A few weeks later he invited her to a party and she went.
After the party, he dropped off some other friends who were with them and then took her to pick up something to eat.
She got the item from inside the restaurant and when she returned to the vehicle, he gave her a drink that he had poured. 
The victim said she thought that it tasted funny, and not long afterwards she fell asleep in Phillip’s car.
The young woman further stated that she was awakened by what she described as “like the car went into a pothole.”
 She realised that she had been taken to a beach in Five Islands, and when she enquired what was going on, Phillip held her down and raped her – despite her efforts to fight him off and telling him “remember you have a daughter and you wouldn’t want anyone to do that to her.”
When he was done, he took her home and then sent her a message via phone stating that he was sorry.
Following his arrest, Phillip told the police that the sexual intercourse started with the woman’s consent,, but added that during the activity, the young woman told him to stop but he continued.
During his sentencing hearing on Friday, he brought character witnesses to talk about how his wife and children have been suffering because of his incarceration while his sentencing was pending since he was found guilty earlier this year.
Phillip said that the offence was out of his character.
While, the victim, who was interviewed for a probation report to help guide the court’s sentencing, spoke of the depression she faced and how, after the incident she could not properly care for her young child and was forced to stop breastfeeding because of the medication she had to use to cope.
And, she said it is difficult to trust anyone because her attacker was a friend. (Martina Johnson)

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