GUERNSEY HISTORY 

26th July 1976
Guernsey court escapee was caught again

Derek Plevin escaped from a Guernsey court where he was facing rape charges, and spent 13 days on the run. He was recaptured when he started to suffer from stomach pains and, with little other option, called police to take him to hospital.

He was eventually found guilty of both rape and, because the complainant was his daughter, incest, by a majority decision of the Jurats that heard the case. The court sentenced him to serve six years in prison for the rape and six years of penal servitude for the incest to run concurrently.

He was also sentenced to six months imprisonment, to be served consecutively, after pleading guilty to escaping lawful custody of the Guernsey court.

By the end of the year he’d given notice that he intended to appeal against the rape and incest convictions. He planned to call 12 witnesses, of whom four had appeared at his original trial. His advocate also alleged misdirection in the original trial’s summing-up.

Plevin presented two written statements signed by his daughter. These made it clear that she and her father had never had intercourse. Despite this, she had given evidence at the original trial stating that they had.

The original report

PR Collas, representing Plevin in his appeal, then outlined the unusual nature in which the claim of rape had been made.

Police Sergeant Quertier had been sent to the daughter’s house. She lived there with her mother (Plevin’s wife, who wanted a divorce) and siblings, and Quertier had been asked to deal with an apparently serious incident. When he arrived, he found Plevin’s wife and sister-in-law waiting. It later became apparent that they hadn’t been in the house when the alleged offences had taken place. The summing up of the appeal suggested that “there must be considerable doubt as to whether [the sister-in-law] could have known what had taken place when she made allegations of rape”.

The written record of the appeal (PDF) concludes,

It is, of course, easy in the calm of one’s study to pick holes in the printed record of the hurley-burley of a trial, but in the light of the foregoing considerations we could not feel satisfied that these convictions (which in the circumstances of this case stand or fall together) could be supported, having regard to the evidence and to the criticisms of the direction given to the Jurats; and at the conclusion of the hearing of this Appeal on 20th December 1976 we indicated that these two Appeals should be allowed and that the convictions for rape and incest should be quashed. The Appellant would however continue to remain in custody for a little longer until he had completed his sentence for escape.

Category: Guernsey History | Other events tagged

Check out The Sarnian’s email newsletter for Guernsey history, features, puzzles and pictures. It’s also the first place where you’ll find out about the Sarnian series of books, including sneak previews and discounts.

We will never sell your data to third parties, and there’s an unsubscribe link in every email, so you can leave whenever you like.

What else happened in Guernsey in July?

Guernsey history newsletter

Check out The Sarnian’s email newsletter for Guernsey history, features, puzzles and pictures. It’s also the first place where you’ll find out about the Sarnian series of books, including sneak previews and discounts.

We will never sell your data to third parties, and there’s an unsubscribe link in every email, so you can leave whenever you like.

* indicates required

The Sarnian

The Sarnian Book 1: Dead in the Water

A body on a beach, an impossible alibi and an unstoppable race against time!

Check out the first book in The Sarnian series, set on the Channel Island of Guernsey.

Click here to get your copy today…

December in Guernsey through the years…

Guernsey's comms links are severed

18th December 1979

Castle Cornet surrenders in Civil War

17th December 1651

Alderney's evacuees return after occupation

15th December 1945

Herm bribery case came to court

14th December 1918

Victor Hugo flees France and Napoleon

12th December 1851

Sarnian secrets

Sign up to The Sarnian's occasional newsletter for updates on your favourite characters and locations, to go behind the scenes on the writing process, and for early-bird discounts on every new book. We promise not to share your details with anyone else, and you can easily unsubscribe whenever you choose.
* indicates required

Search the archiveWarning