The Jury of nine today handed down their Guilty verdict in the case of the Crown against Mr Justin Herne. Herne, who is already in prison for sex offences, was put on trial after more information came to light in relation to cruelty and abuse he inflicted on three others in the early 1990s.
The case was heard by His Lordship, the Chief Justice, Charles Ekins Esq, over two weeks. The Jury heard compelling evidence from the three victims who were children under the age of 10 at the time Herne committed the offences.
Acting Attorney General Angelo Berbotto said:
“This is a fantastic day for the victims and for St Helena. Justice has finally been done for the victims who were children at the time and who have suffered in silence these many years.
“The Jury in this case represents the commitment of the community in ensuring that children are safe on St Helena. There has never before been a jury conviction on the island for such offending. No doubt this is a step forward and this result sends a clear signal that this community will not tolerate the abuse of children. The people of St Helena do not want other children to go through the harrowing experiences that the victims in this case suffered.
“The community of St Helena is now a safer place for children and I commend the work of the St Helena Police team who were instrumental in bringing this case to Court. I commend the careful presentation of the evidence by Iain Morley QC from 23 Essex St Chambers, London – assisted by Crown Counsel Ms Aine Hurley.
“Most of all, I commend the victims who had the courage to come forward, and I hope this example will encourage others not to suffer in silence.”
The case has now been adjourned for sentencing after receipt of the Probation Report.
1 April 2016