That was the verdict handed down to 37-year-old Cherry Hill, St. George resident Hayden Phillip, who was implicated on indictable charges for attempted rape and robbery with violence in a 9-year-old matter, which concluded before High Court Judge Madam Justice Paula Gilford at the St George’s No. 1 High Court on Tuesday.
The allegations stemmed from an incident that reportedly occurred on March 7, 2014 involving a 14-year-old school girl.
Crown Counsel Damon Joseph, who prosecuted the matters against Phillip called four (4) witnesses to give evidence to the court during the trial, which lasted only three days but was unable to secure a conviction from the 9-member jury.
The Prosecution’s case was based on identification evidence, as the complainant did not know the perpetrator prior to the alleged incident and was unable to convince the jury that Phillip was guilty of the charges laid against him.
Phillip was escorted to and from court with both his hands and feet cuffed together as a mitigating measure.
He is currently serving a rape sentence at the Richmond Hill Prison.
The repeat offender had escaped from the prison in January 2019 by jumping a protective wall and sending law enforcement officers on a 10- day hunt, which ended with him being shot and recaptured at an abandoned building on Old Fort Road, St. George.
Seasoned Attorney George Prime provided pro-bono services to Phillip, who has 16 previous convictions including one for manslaughter.
The defense Attorney, who reluctantly spoke with reporters about his client’s case, noted that Phillip had maintained his innocence from the onset of the charges.
“I have no difficulty if the evidence corresponds with the verdict so that there is no miscarriage of justice…,” he said
“…The issues were eventually ventilated, and that the jury found that this young man is not guilty…whatever has been said about him (or) how many times he has been a victim of the law is in this instance it did not stand up to scrutiny,” he added.