The man who was accused of sodomising his two-year-old niece which led to her death was yesterday set free at the Georgetown High Court when a mixed 12 member jury declared him not guilty of the murder charge.
Justice Priya Sewnarine–Beharry dismissed the charge against Kevin Rankin after the jury unanimously agreed that he was not guilty of the act.
When the verdict was handed down Ranking shouted “yes!” as he threw both of his hands in the air then quickly exited the Court as members of the dead toddlers’ family rushed behind him.
Three years ago, on October 21, the man’s two-year-old niece was alleged to have been sodomised at the Haslington village, East Coast Demerara (ECD) while she had been left in his care.
At that time Rankin was only 16-years-old and had been at a relative’s home with the toddler while the child’s mother left to conduct some errands.
It was during the period between when the woman left her child with Rankin and the time she returned home that the toddler had passed away.
The two-year-old had been rushed by her mother and other relatives to the CC Nicholson Health Centre at Nabaclis, ECD, before being taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) where she was pronounced dead.
Defence Attorney Sandil Kissoon had argued that the Prosecution’s case against his client (Rankin) had flaws since there were no photographs produced to the Court that had been taken of the scene where the crime allegedly occurred or even the house in which the alleged crime had taken place.
He also posited that the investigators did not take any statement from any neighbour or eyewitness with regards to the matter.
Meanwhile, State Witness, Pathologist Dr. Nehaul Singh, declared that an autopsy which had been performed on the body of the toddler indicates that she had suffered sexual penetration to her anus.
In testifying, he stated that the two-year-old at that time, when the post mortem examination was conducted, had fresh blood in her rectal area as well as suffered abdominal trauma which included internal bleeding to her liver and spleen.
Dr Singh revealed that the child had also suffered from concussions to both her head and neck which are consistent with a hit or fall.
He said that the two-year-old could have been pressed down, which would have prevented her from breathing and allowing blood to flow in her chest cavity.
However, under intense cross examination by defence counsel, Dr Singh acknowledged that injury to the toddler’s chest cavity could have been also caused during administration of Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) by someone who did not have experience in administering CPR.
It should be noted that Rankin had initially told the Court that he did not harm his niece on the day in question but had taken her to a relative’s home for her “to play”.
That is when she became sick; complaining about chest pains, then subsequently became unresponsive.
In light of the child not breathing, his cousin had tried to administer CPR, Rankin added.