Former South African cricketer Dion Taljard found guilty of 19 counts of rape
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Former South African Cricketer Dion Taljard was sentenced to an 18-year imprisonment on Wednesday in Manchester after being proven guilty in the rape case filed against him. The pacer was found guilty of committing crimes that include 19 rapes, two indecent assault and one of witness intimidation by the Minshull Street Crown Court.
Judge Maurice Greene headed the court proceedings in this case and came to a conclusion that the Proteas bowler is accountable for all the crimes listed in the case. At the hearing, Judge Greene said, "You used violence towards this woman over and above even the rapes themselves. You manipulated her and sent her threatening text messages to her to get your own way... She has had to have to counsel since these matters came to light.
"You were a professional sportsman and I have read nine testimonials from people who say you are an honest and trustworthy person. But you were violent towards her and you pose a significant risk of causing significant harm and future offending", the judge concluded.
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47-year-old Talijard played for Border in South Africa following which he moved to the United Kingdom and started playing for local clubs. The father of three faced the rape allegations after the victim (name cannot be revealed for legal reasons) lodged a complaint against him claiming that he has subjected her to multiple rapes and assaults.
The unnamed victim's testimony accused Talijard of assaulting her over 150 times between 2002 and 2012. According to the reports, she had countless nightmares and had to undergo counselling.
Talijard was found guilty in all the charges despite nine testimonials claiming that he is ‘trustworthy’, ‘honest’ and ‘decent’. The judge stated that the cricketer might be regarded with immense respect in the cricket circuit but he cannot be exempted from being jailed for the crimes that he has committed for an entire decade.
The court rulings also stated that Talijard should not be classified as a ‘dangerous’ offender. As a result, no extended sentences were passed.
On the other hand, the cricketer believes that he is not guilty of any of the charges and is prepared to fight a legal battle along with his girlfriend, Jacqueline Costello.
Talijard will serve jail-time of nine years after which he will be released provided he remains on the license. He has also been ordered to sign the sex offenders register for the rest of his life.
Talijard and Costello have decided to turn towards the public for their support. The latter started an online petition in order to fetch crowd funding that will enable them to make an appeal.
Rape is a serious offence and any person found guilty of committing such a heinous crime should be subjected to an equally strong sentence. The fact that it has been proven in the court that Talijard committed the dreadful act for 10 years implies that there should b no escape for him.
Moreover, he is a public figure and a lot of fans might look up to him. As someone who can influence the masses, Talijard was rightly handed a strong sentence. Appropriate punishments for culprits help in restoring faith in the judiciary and this case serves as the perfect instance of that.