Man convicted of attempted rape, burglary

File photo

A 40-year-old man who broke into a woman’s home while she was sleeping and tried to rape her was convicted of attempted rape, among other charges, on Tuesday in the Grand Court.

Sitting silently in the dock in a largely empty courtroom, James Filanche Ellis listened as Justice Marlene Carter read out details of the events that transpired on the morning of 5 May 2019.

“After failing to get into [the victim’s] house through the front door, you went to the back where you took out a screen from a window that had been left open,” said Carter. “Upon entering the room, you took away the complainant’s phone, stripped naked, and proceeded to hold her down and attempted to have sexual intercourse with her.”

“This was clear intention of your intention to have sexual intercourse with [the victim],” added Carter.

Ellis and the woman are known to each other.

During the attack, he told her, “If I can’t have you, no one else can, and it’s either you die or me,” the court had heard.

The woman was able to get free and suffered minor injuries.

Ellis, a Jamaican national, was found guilty of attempted rape, assault by penetration, and burglary. A second count of assault by penetration was dismissed, due to a lack of evidence.

Following the guilty verdict, prosecutor Darlene Oko applied to have Ellis’s bail revoked.

“In light of the serious nature of the charges, Mr. Ellis has now been convicted and the prosecution is making an application that bail be revoked and he be remanded into custody,” said Oko.

However, the application was opposed by Jonathon Hughes, Ellis’s attorney.

“Mr. Ellis has been on bail for 15 months now, and during that time we have never had an incident,” said Hughes. “He has been on an ankle monitor the entire time while abiding by a strict 8pm to 6am curfew, and showing up to court once per week.”

“My Lady, the borders are also now closed, so he does not pose a flight risk,” added Hughes.

The judge released Ellis on bail. He is scheduled to return to court for sentencing on 7 Nov.

Support local journalism. Subscribe to the all-access pass for the Cayman Compass.

Subscribe now