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Rapist Bahari Dopwell on his way to court on July 23, 2023.
Rapist Bahari Dopwell on his way to court on July 23, 2023.
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A 20-year-old man who robbed a man and a woman in Kingstown then abducted and raped the woman, forcing her to walk naked in the street before wrapping herself in a garbage bag, will spend a further 16 years, 8 months and 20 days in prison.

Justice Rickie Burnett sentenced the man, Bahari Dopwell, of Paul’s Avenue, to some 55 years in prison for his Dec. 15, 2019 crimes.

However, Dopwell will only serve the longest of the sentences, all of which will run concurrently.  

Dopwell had pleaded not guilty to one count of rape, two counts of robbery, one count of abduction, one count of buggery and one count of assault causing actual bodily harm.

However, after a trial that ran from June 15 to 26, 2023, Dopwell was found guilty on all counts except that of buggery.

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The facts of the case are that on Dec. 15, 2019, sometime after 11 p.m., the virtual complainants (VCs), who lived in a neighbouring community, were talking and drinking at the bottom of Wilson Hill on their way home from an entertainment spot in the city.

While there, a masked man who was later identified as Dopwell, approached them with an object wrapped in something black, which the VCs presumed was a gun.

Dopwell demanded that they hand over their possessions and the male complainant handed over his cellular phone and wallet.

The female complainant refused and Dopwell grabbed her phone from her waistband.

Dopwell then sexually assaulted the female complainant and dragged her to the top of Wilson Hill and down to the Bishop’s College old pan yard.

Meanwhile, the male complainant ran away with the intention of getting help from the police.

When Dopwell got to the Bishop’s College old pan yard with the female complainant, he ripped off her clothes and raped her while repeatedly threatening to kill her.

He also attempted to push his penis in her mouth. The woman struggled with Dopwell, who slammed her head against a wall, causing her actual bodily harm.

At some point during the attack, the female grabbed Dopwell’s testicles and squeezed them causing him to release his hold on her.

She then got up and ran, naked, to the public road and while running away, she saw the male complainant walking towards the pan yard area.

The female went to a nearby house and called out for help but no one responded. The occupant of a second house responded and telephoned the police.

The occupant also gave her a garbage bag to cover her nakedness.

Meanwhile, the male complainant approached Dopwell and told him he recognised him and threatened to “lock him up”.

He also asked Dopwell to return the phones and wallet and Dopwell returned one of the phones and subsequently threw the other on the ground.

Dopwell verbally abused the male complainant and threw a stone at him, hitting him on the hand.

Dopwell later left the scene and went in the direction of his home in Paul’s Avenue.

Later that same night, the police visited the scene of the rape and found a torn top belonging to the female complainant.

Police found her torn tights in a drain in Paul’s Avenue.

They executed a search warrant at Dopwell’s home in Paul’s Avenue and in his bedroom, police found the underwear the woman was wearing when Dopwell raped her.

In handing down his sentence, Justice Burnett noted that a social inquiry report showed that Dopwell was 18 years old at the time of his crimes.

He attended the Bishop’s College, Kingstown, but left school at Form 3.

Dopwell worked in his family business and was in good health but may have some heart problems and has developed back problems, the judge said.

He had no previous convictions, but the report said life had gotten harder for Dopwell with the death of his father and because of the people he associated with, his name was called in activities.

Dopwell’s community said he was well-behaved and hardworking and prison authorities said he is respectful except for having items thrown over the prison wall.

The judge noted that Dopwell lives in the vicinity of the prisons.

Justice Burnett pointed out the aims of criminal punishment, namely prevention, deterrence, retribution and rehabilitation.

He noted that a sentencing judge must follow the sentencing guidelines, unless doing so would lead to injustice in a case. The judge said he saw no reason to depart from the guidelines in Dopwell’s case.

On the count of rape, the judge noted that the maximum penalty is life imprisonment, a notional sentence of 30 years.

Justice Burnett established a starting point of 15 years, noting that the virtual complainant suffered serious psychological harm.

The judge pointed out that she had to walk naked in public and wrapped herself in a garbage bag.

Aggravating of the offence was that fear was created. There were no mitigating features of the offence.

The judge increased the sentence by one year, taking it to 15 years.

Aggravating of the offender was that the act was committed during the course of a robbery.

Mitigating of the offender was his young age, and lack of maturity. The judge moved the sentence down one year down to 14 years.

As with all the other offences, the time spent on remand — one year, three months and 10 days — was deducted, leaving a sentence of 12 years, eight months and 20 days.

On the two robbery charges, the judge pointed out that both VCs saw Dopwell brandish what appeared to be a gun and were fearful.

Aggravating of the offence was the prevalence of robberies in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, with official statistics showing that 453 robberies were reported between January 2017 to December 2021.

The court also held that the offences were motivated by greed and were committed in a public place.

Mitigation of offence was that the items were recovered and returned to the VCs.

The judge increased the starting sentence — 18 years — to 20 years.

He said aggravating of the offender was that he committed the offences while on bail.

Mitigating of the offender was his young age and absence of previous conviction.

The sentence was reduced to 18 years, and when the time on remand was deducted, Dopwell was left with a prison term of 16 years, 8 months and 20 days on each count.

Abduction attracts a maximum of five years in prison. The judge established a starting sentence of two years and six months.

The judge noted that a weapon was used during the commission of the crime. After the time on remand was deducted, Dopwell was left with a sentence of one year, two months and 20 days in prison.

On the assault occasioning actual bodily charge, the judge started at three years – 60% of the maximum of five years imprisonment.

The judge noted that the VC was threatened and her head slammed against a wall.

Dopwell was left with a sentence of one year, eight months and 20 days on this charge.

Counsel Grant Connell represented the defendant while Karim Nelson, an assistant director of public prosecutor, appeared for the Crown.

4 replies on “Woman forced to walk naked in Kingstown after being raped”

  1. It’s a law abiding citizen’s we are, and we must stick to the law, no matter how we feel about the crime, the judge is just doing what the law said, so leave them alone, people like you are LAW BREAKERS

  2. I am fed up with this shit now. These guys commits such heinous crimes yet it seems like the judges just giving them a slap on the wrist. We should do like in the far and middle east, sentence them to public execution which would be carried out in the quickest possible time.

  3. Some men doesn’t know how to talk to women to get sex so they rape becoming a rapist. Have self control and charm the ladies. Stop rape.

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