Two of the three men jailed for the 1995 rape and robbery of conductress to be released
It will be early freedom for two men convicted of what an Appeal Court described as a vicious attack on a minibus conductress 15 years ago.
Barbados TODAY understands from prison sources that Orlando McDonald DaCosta Lorde and Peter O’Neal Forde will walk out of Her Majesty’s Prison Dodds in St Philip on Thursday, three years ahead of time.
They were charged in 1999, along with Robin Dwayne Howell, for the 1995 rape and robbery of a minibus conductress at French Village, St Peter, and sentenced to 15 years for the robbery and 30 years for the rape, to run concurrently.
On appeal, even though they said the men should be severely punished, the appeal judges ruled that the sentence was excessive and reduced it to 25 years.
It is not clear why the two men are being released from prison early, but Andrew Pilgrim, the attorney who represented Lorde before the Court of Appeal, speculated that his former client might have applied to the local Mercy Committee.
“He would have to do approximately 18 years . . . . He may have applied for a pardon or had his sentence reviewed by the prison authorities. It’s certainly nothing I have done,” Pilgrim told Barbados TODAY this afternoon.
Forde’s attorney at the time, Randall Worrell, now High Court judge Justice Worrell, also suggested that the Mercy Committee might be responsible for his former client leaving jail early.
Neither of them was aware of the early release. It is also unclear why the third man convicted of the offence will remain behind bars.
The charges against the men arose out of an incident that took place in the early hours of July 14, 1995.
Evidence led in the case was that about 11 p.m. the night before, the three went to the Lower Green Bus Stand in Bridgetown and boarded minibus B192 and remained on that vehicle until it reached its French Village destination.
The men forced the bus driver to drive the vehicle into a gap and then raped and robbed the conductress.
The Court of Appeal said at the time that the rape and robbery were both serious offences and “the manner in which the complainant was raped and robbed, in particular the vicious attack on her body by the appellants and the other aggravating features of these crimes, must be strongly condemned”.