Story & video by Gloridene Hoyte
A man has been ordered to pay EC$6,000 to his ex-girlfriend for unlawful access to her phone, after a lawsuit filed under the Cyber Crime Act.
The man, Rayshawne James, was further ordered to pay a fine of EC$100 for trespassing on the property of the claimant, Sophie Lawrence.
“…I hope that this send a message to those who attempt to illegally access account of others, those who attempt to send around explicit material, that they are not supposed to have in the first place that you are mindful of how you treat others in this new and technological era,” lawyer Adrian Odle told iWitness News after the Colonarie Magistrate’s Court handed down the ruling on Thursday.
“In this case, we have illegal access to a device that does not belong to that particular person as well as remaining in that particular system of the device as well as concerning some form of identity theft, impersonation of someone,” Odle said.
Magistrate Bertie Pompey presided over the case, the first Cybercrime case to be heard by that district court.
The matter was heard in James’ absence.
Lawrence told the court that she and James were in a relationship that was not intimate. On Sept. 25, 2022, James, uninvited, visited Lawrence sometime around midnight and she told him to leave through an open bedroom window.
As Lawrence was telephoning a taxi so that James could leave, James pushed his hand through the window and took the telephone from her and ran.
Lawrence said that after several calls to the telephone went unanswered, she telephoned the Colonarie Police Station, which responded. She made a formal report later that day.
She said she received her telephone from the Colonarie Police Station some days later but she could not access her business and personal accounts on social media as she had done before the phone was stolen.
Lawrence told the court that the phone had been wiped — all the data had been deleted from it.
She said after she received the phone, James contacted her and she told him, “Rayshawne James, stop what you are doing”.
She said she knew she was speaking with James as he left a voice note.
Lawrence told the court that James removed explicit photos of her from her phone and sent them to her.
Meanwhile, Odle noted to court that a person who is found guilty of an offence under the Cybercrime Act can be in excess of EC$100,000 but pointed out that the magistrate’s court can only go up to EC$14,000 and he was seeking that amount for his client.
He said there is “the prevalence of young men who illegally access cell phones of females and doing illegal activities”.
The lawyer further told the court that the matter “is a great breach of privacy”.
He also considered the time when James visited the complainant at her home uninvited, adding that his client was vulnerable as a female.
Additionally, James will have to pay cost.