CrimeNews

Taxi driver gets 11 years for raping, beating sex worker

Thirty-seven-year-old Thurston Semple, the taxi driver who had been found guilty of brutally raping and beating a female Venezuelan sex worker, has been sentenced to 11 years imprisonment for the crimes.

The sentence was imposed Thursday by Demerara Sexual Offences Court Judge Priya Sewnarine-Beharry, after she would have considered a social and psychiatric report on Semple, the circumstances of the case as well as aggravating and mitigating factors.

The Judge sentenced him to 11 years on the rape charge and four years on the assault charge, ordering that the two sentences be served concurrently. This means he will only do 11 years.

During a sentencing hearing, a forensic psychiatrist diagnosed the convict as having antisocial personality disorder while pointing out that he has expressed no remorse for his criminal behaviours.

The doctor pointed out that Semple has a “very high self esteem”, functions at a psychotic level, does not recognise when he is wrong and uses intimidation to manipulate others and break the law.

But, despite these diagnoses, the psychiatrist did not recommend that Semple undergo any treatment. When given a chance to address the court, a visibly upset Semple rubbished the doctor’s findings and professed his innocence, labelling the case against him a lie.

“The whole case is lies. Since I’m in jail; I’ve learnt a lot. This is injustice. I didn’t do any of these things. I ain’t do no crime, so what am I doing time for? I’m being assaulted in jail because of lies. Whatever you [Judge] give me [sentence] I will accept and bless it but God knows my heart,” said a crying Semple.

As for the rape surviour, through a victim impact statement, she shared that this incident has left her suffering from serious psychological trauma, including post traumatic stress disorder, fear, depression, anxiety and sleeping disorder.

She also claimed that Semple, who forced her to have unprotected sex with him, infected her with a sexually transmitted disease. However, no evidence was provided to the court to support her claim.

The convict was represented by Attorney-at-Law Everton Singh-Lammy while State Counsel Nafeeza Baig and State Counsel Muntaz Ali appeared for the prosecution.

Semple, was convicted of raping the woman between February 24, 2021, and February 25, 2021, at Georgetown. He was also convicted of assaulting her so as to cause her actual bodily harm.

Semple is reportedly in the habit of paying women to have sex with him and would usually take them to his Tucville, Georgetown home to have what he described as “nice time”.

Reports are that on the day in question, the woman was at a location in Georgetown when Semple drove up in his vehicle beside her. He made arrangements with the woman to have sex with him and agreed to pay her $10,000.

The two then left in his car for his residence. Upon arrival there, the woman went into the house and sat on a bed where she smoked a cigarette.

She reportedly then took off her clothes and they began to have sexual intercourse. During the act, the condom broke.

As a result, the woman replaced it and told Semple that he only had 15 minutes remaining and that if he did not finish within that time, she would be leaving. Semple replied telling her “okay”.

He then went into the kitchen and returned with a knife. At that time, the woman was getting dressed, and she told him to keep his money. But Semple held the woman at knifepoint while telling her “you’re not going anywhere.”

He then grabbed her by her hair, placed the knife to her neck, removed the condom from his penis, and forced her to perform oral sex on him. The woman, after a while, stopped performing the act on Semple who became annoyed and slapped her to her face. She then asked him for some water.

When Semple turned to go into the kitchen, the naked woman grabbed her clothes and jumped through a glass window.

However, Semple ran after her and when he caught up with her, he stabbed her about her body with a knife and lashed her several times with a plastic tube that was filled with cement.

The woman then ran away from Semple and jumped a fence after which persons came to her rescue. Police arrived at the scene shortly after and arrested Semple.

The victim was taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital for treatment.

In his caution statement, Semple told the Police: “Officer, I had sex with her. I paid her for the service and she refused to do what I asked… and I assaulted her in her face with a PVC pipe”.

Meanwhile, back in 2017, Semple was charged for allegedly raping another woman.

It was reported that Semple met the woman at a nightclub and took her to a hotel where he had sex with her against her will. He was later arrested and charged.

Then, in January of 2018, Semple was charged for allegedly tying up two female sex workers on separate occasions and raping them.

The court heard the Semple took the women to his home where he promised to pay them $10,000 each to perform sexual acts on him.

When the acts were completed, Semple tied the women’s hands and feet and took them to the location where he met them, dropped them off, and drove off without paying them.

The women reported the matter to the Police station. Semple was later arrested and charged.

This publication understands that Semple is awaiting trial at the Demerara High Court for the offences he allegedly committed in 2017 and 2018.

Semple was granted cash bail on all the rape charges.