Probation for harasser of off-duty policewoman


The brother of twins battered to death 13 years ago escaped a jail sentence yesterday after he admitted sexual harassment of an off-duty woman police officer.

Magistrates’ Court heard how Rashaad Cooper, who was 33 at the time, was drinking at the East End Mini Yacht Club in St George’s.

The court heard he spotted a woman in the bar and confronted her.

He said: “What the f**k are you looking at? I will f**k you up.”

Cooper later made sexually explicit remarks to the terrified woman and moved himself between her legs.

He told her: “You’re scared, innit?”

A victim impact statement read in court said the woman was concerned that Cooper might push her off a wall.

The statement added that the woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, now only went out on rare occasions.

Cooper, now 35, of Devonshire admitted intruding on the privacy of a woman and using threatening words at an August court appearance.

He had, in April, pleaded not guilty to the offences, which happened in July, 2015.

Paul Wilson, Cooper’s defence lawyer, told the court that Cooper developed a substance abuse problem after his brothers were killed in 2005.

He said: “He has struggled with substance abuse and he struggled with the death of his brothers.

“His coping mechanism was to go and get drunk and fight with people.”

Mr Wilson was slapped down by magistrate Juan Wolffe when he asked to imagine the course of events without the defendant having pushed himself between the woman’s legs.

Mr Wolffe told him: “Don’t diminish the offence.”

Mr Wolffe also rejected Mr Wilson’s argument that the offence took place in a bar where drinking and poor behaviour were expected.

Mr Wolffe said: “It shouldn’t matter where it took place — a bar, a church ... I don’t accept this argument.”

Mr Wilson added that Cooper, who has a history of violence, had been seriously affected by the death of his brothers.

He said Cooper was dedicated to his children and had suffered a turbulent childhood after he was made to leave his family home.

Cooper, who was accompanied by government gang violence reduction co-ordinator Leroy Bean, said: “I sincerely apologise for the incident.

“I sincerely apologise to her. I have a girlfriend and we have just got an apartment.

“I’ve not been in trouble since 2015 — I’m proof that you can turn your life around.”

Cooper’s 20-year-old brothers Jahmal and Jahmil were beaten to death with a metal baseball bat by Kenneth Burgess and Dennis Robinson in 2005.

Their bodies were thrown off Abbott’s Cliff in Hamilton Parish.

Mr Wolffe asked him about his brothers.

Cooper said: “I don’t want to talk about it. It hurts when I think about it.”

Mr Wolffe put the father of two on probation for three years.

Mr Wolffe also banned Cooper from drinking alcohol and told him he will also have to undergo drug testing.

The defendant was ordered to enrol in a sex offenders’ programme and stick to a 9pm to 6am curfew.

Cooper will, in addition, have to attend counselling and report to the courts when required.

It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases. As we are legally liable for any slanderous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.

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