Caribbean teachers jailed on sex-related charges against students

Caribbean teachers jailed on sex-related charges against students

Friday, November 27, 2020

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Two teachers in Barbados and Guyana were jailed in their respective countries after they were found guilty of sexual-related charges against them.

In Barbados, Rico Renaldo Edwards, a music teacher found guilty of pushing his hand down the pants of an 11-year-old student, was sentenced to 18 month in prison. Edwards had been found guilty of the offence a year ago and was brought to court for sentencing.

“This case is particularly worrisome because it involves a teacher and his student. Teachers are considered to hold a unique position of trust, care and authority due to their influences on children and young people through education and learning. Parents put their trust in teachers and expect them to respect their children,” said Justice Pamela Beckles.

“Your conduct is a complete departure from the standard expected of a teacher and his student and amounts to a serious breach of trust, in that you failed to protect the complainant who was in your charge.

“This court considers this a fundamental breach of trust, in that, you were obligated to protect this student and maintain public confidence in the reputation of the teaching profession and you failed,” Justice Beckles added.

Edwards, who was 21 at the time of the incident, had pleaded not guilty on July 1, 2019 to the charge of indecent assault but a jury found him guilty after trial.

The court heard that on January 7, 2016, the student attended music lessons taught by Edwards. The boy said, during the lessons, he kept getting the answer to Edwards' question wrong and the teacher unbuckled his (boy's) belt, stuck his hand in his pants and squeezed his testicles.

The student pulled away but Edward pulled him by his belt and continued with his hand in his underwear.

In Guyana, a private school teacher was sentenced to three years imprisonment and slapped with a one million dollar fine after he was found guilty of engaging in sexual activity with a minor.

Magistrate Leron Daly imposed the sentence on Wazir Khan after he was found guilty of the offence. The court heard that on March 9, 2019, he engaged in sexual activity with a child under the age of 16 and abusing a position of trust.

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