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David's hell

Published:Sunday | April 29, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Arthur Hall, Senior Staff Reporter

Jailed androbbed after he was wrongfully accused of carnal abuse and buggery

The abused girl, now 15, decided that there was no way she could continue to allow an innocent man to be sent to prison.

It was 758 days of hell for David Foster, and he knows because he counted every day from April 12, 2008, when he was arrested for a crime he did not commit, until May 10, 2010, when he was finally released on bail.

But even then his ordeal was not over, and for the the next two years, the threat of prison hung over his head.

Last Wednesday, he was set free, ending a horrific four years that saw him losing all his tools and equipment he had worked and bought over the years, $270,000 which he had paid as a deposit on a used vehicle, and contact with his five children whom he loves dearly.

"Every day me deh a jail me think bout one of mi sons (seven years old at the time); the last time me see him, him beg me a kite and every day me deh a prison me just say all now me nuh give him. When me come from jail after the two years, the first thing him ask me for is the kite."

Foster, a 38-year-old carpenter, had been arrested and charged with carnal abuse, indecent assault and buggery after he was named by an 11-year-old girl as the person who molested her.

"Right here so mi deh in me workshop on the 12th of April 2008 when me see some police come and say them charging me for molesting the little girl. It frightening still, but me did have to just go wid them."

"Them carry me go (Kingston) Central Police Station and profile me. Them never lick me, but them talk rough and violent say me abuse the little girl."

According to Foster, he was at pains to tell the police that he had no idea of the accusations and had never touched the girl, whom he knew very well.

But armed with a statement from the child plus medical reports that showed she had been repeatedly sexually abused, the cops were in no mood to listen to a dreadlocked carpenter who had his hair close to his waist and a beard that touched his chest.

The Central police lock-up has inmates accused of many serious crimes, but there is an unwritten rule - persons accused of raping children are scums.

That was the reality Foster faced as fellow inmates, some charged with murder, frowned on an adult male who could sexually assault an 11-year-old.

"But fi some reason, me no know why, Jah just bring me through the whole of the embarrassment because a nuff embarrassment."

Foster said the abused girl and his children had visited him at his workshop days before he was held by the police.

The children stayed with him for two days because he had promised to buy them school shoes.

He said he did not get the money he expected and they had to leave without the shoes on the Friday but the next day, the children's mother returned to get the shoes which he had eventually bought.

"Monday now, me get a call from the mother asking if me see the little girl because them can't find her. Me tell her no and the next thing me hear say them find the girl in the bathroom bleeding.

"Is me the mother come check and me give her money to meet the little girl at hospital.

"Then me start call fi check on the little girl and them telling me say everything all right. Nobody never tell me nothing that she was abused until the police them come arrest me."

Four years later as the truth begins coming to light, Foster has discovered that the Monday when the little girl was missing was one of the days she was being abused by the adult male who is now charged with the act.

"By the Tuesday, him done fix her up fi say a me and all this time when me was being fixed, me a check and a worry about the little girl."

life savings spent

Foster, knowing he was innocent, spent his life savings getting a lawyer.

However, when that money ran out, the lawyer dropped the case forcing him to seek legal aid.

"That legal-aid lawyer was a nice lady. She name Michelle Clarke and me a tell you she great. A she work the case and took it to the first trial. When the jury failed to arrive at a verdict, a retrial was ordered."

With the matter set to be retried the abused girl, now 15, decided that there was no way she could continue to allow an innocent man to be sent to prison.

Instead, she telephoned the real attacker and told him that she was tired of telling lies on Foster. During the conversation the man told her to stick to the concocted story and reminded her of his threat to kill her and her mother.

That conversation was recorded and passed to the cops, who arrested the real culprit thereby paving the way for the charges against Foster to be dropped.

"When me hear say the charge drop me feel good fi the righteous, and now the world know say me righteous and them thing deh a no my style."

arthur.hall@gleanerjm.com

See related stories :

Foster forgives

'I never gave up on my son'