The rape trial of Brandon Jamahl Beckett began in Grand Court on Tuesday with submissions from the Crown counsel and testimony from the complainant in the case.
Mr. Beckett is charged with rape, wrongful confinement and making threats to kill in relation to an incident that occurred in the early morning hours of Nov. 1, 2017.
Crown counsel Toyin Salako read some of the facts of the case aloud on Tuesday, and she said that Mr. Beckett and the complainant had met on Tinder on Oct. 18 and met in person the following day. Mr. Beckett began staying with the complainant without incident until the events of Oct. 31, 2017.
That night, Ms. Salako said that the complainant had invited Mr. Beckett out to dinner with a group of her friends. After dinner, Ms. Salako said Mr. Beckett began verbally abusing the complainant on the car ride home and that the actions turned physical once they had returned to the complainant’s residence.
The defendant allegedly forced the complainant to perform oral sex on him, and later, he penetrated her without her consent. The complainant alleges that she contacted police, and the defendant punched her in the face, turned off all the lights and physically restrained her from answering the door.
The police visited the residence three times. The first two times, they left without making contact. And the third time, the police forced open the door and took the complainant to safety. Ms. Salako said that the defendant told police the complainant injured herself by falling and hitting her face on the ground.
The 41-year-old complainant testified Tuesday morning and told the court her version of events. She said that a relationship started “pretty much right away” after meeting the defendant. He stayed with her that night and gradually began moving his personal effects into her apartment over the next 12 days.
Everything changed at the complainant’s celebratory dinner with her friends, where she said the defendant’s mood “changed immediately” and “he became somebody I didn’t know.” The complainant said the defendant was very angry on the car ride home and verbally abused her.
The complainant told the court that she asked the defendant to leave once they arrived at her residence. She asked him to leave “many, many times,” she said, but he did not comply. The defendant made no motion to leave and at one point locked himself inside the complainant’s guest bedroom.
“I didn’t want him staying there. I didn’t want him sleeping there,” she said to the court on Tuesday. “I told him he couldn’t stay. I told him he needed to go. I told him he’d hurt me.
“I told him I cared about him. I told him he needed to leave. He was scaring me.”
The complainant spoke about the physical assault and she said she did not consent to the defendant’s advances. In the aftermath, she said she hated herself and that she just wanted him to leave.
The defendant briefly left the apartment after the assault, and the complainant said Tuesday that she wished she had taken that opportunity to contact the police. Later in the evening, she did try to contact the police, and the defendant physically took her phone away from her.
When the police arrived for the first time, the complainant said, the defendant forced her onto the ground and held her by the neck and mouth.
“I thought he was going to smother me to death,” she said. “I thought he was going to kill me.”
The complainant ultimately tried to leave the apartment after the police left for the first time, but she told the jury that the defendant punched her in the face and confiscated her cellphone. She was able to contact her friends on Facebook using her laptop, and they contacted the police for her.
The complainant’s testimony was interrupted for a lunch break, and the second half occurred after press time. The defense is expected to begin its portion of the case on Wednesday or Thursday.