Tue | Feb 27, 2024

Bath girls relive trauma in Bryan ID

Published:Thursday | April 14, 2022 | 12:12 AMShanna Monteith/Gleaner Writer
Davian Bryan has been slapped with more charges.
Davian Bryan has been slapped with more charges.

Two young girls abducted last October are being saluted for their courage after they summoned the strength to face their alleged tormentor, pointing him out on an identification parade despite trepidation. The accused, Davian Bryan, was recently...

Two young girls abducted last October are being saluted for their courage after they summoned the strength to face their alleged tormentor, pointing him out on an identification parade despite trepidation.

The accused, Davian Bryan, was recently taken into custody after being on the run for several weeks after absconding bail, having been placed before the courts on previous firearms and rape charges.

A massive manhunt was launched for Bryan in October after he was suspected of abducting two young girls – then aged nine and 13 – in separate incidents from their homes in Bath, St Thomas. The girls were rescued days later.

On March 10 he was also alleged to have raped a student of the College of Agriculture, Science and Education.

Late last month, the Portland police took him into custody. He has been charged with multiple counts of rape, forcible abduction, and grievous sexual assault as well as unlawful wounding.

Despite the tell-tale signs of a traumatised little girl, the mother of the teenage girl has lauded the bravery of her daughter as she pointed out Bryan during an identification parade.

“She is very strong. Very resilient. You could see that she was traumatised because I was watching her closely, but she stood firm. She was willing to go and ID him and even said that she could have done so without even seeing him, just by his voice,” the mom told The Gleaner.

She said that the family is now in a better place with the suspect in custody.

“It’s comforting knowing that he’s been caught ... . I pray that the justice system will not let us down as a family, community, and country at large,” she said, adding that despite the trauma, her daughter has been doing very well in school.

The father of the other young girl told The Gleaner that it was a difficult experience for him, knowing that the youngest of his three daughters would have to look her suspected captor in the face again.

He said that the young girl experienced a brief period of stress when she was informed that she would have to point out the suspect in the identification parade. However, with counselling, the hard task was done.

It was also a time of worry for him, he added.

“From mi hear we had to go identify him, I started to worry. Any blunder could’ve have happened. What if the wrong person was identified? There was a lot of nervousness, but my baby said the minute she saw him, she knew it was him,” the hurt father shared.

He further added that he was hoping for a conviction although he admitted that regardless of the outcome of the case, things would not return to normal for the family any time soon.

“Even though the rest of Jamaica may have moved on, we feel stuck. It has just been stress after stress every day,” he said.

Family fragmented

Since the traumatic incident, the inseparable family has been somewhat fragmented, with the eldest daughter now having to take on the responsibility of caring for the young victim in a new environment in accordance with a court order that she be kept outside of Bath.

“They never used to leave our sight. The furthest they’d go is next door. We do everything for dem … . Dem never even have to cook for themselves, and now my big daughter has to become a parent before time because we have no choice. I know it must be stressing on her as well,” said the father, noting that being separated from two of his children in such a difficult time has not been easy.

The family, however, has been trying its best to cope, arranging frequent visits and professional consultations amid seemingly never-ending struggles.

“It’s just one thing after the next. We get no time to heal. My baby has also been complaining about her eyesight ever since the incident. I don’t know if it’s the night air affect them or what, but she crying that she not seeing well,” he told The Gleaner. “To add to that, the court is still giving us a hard time about who gets to keep my baby … . I just feel like we are the victim, but we are still being punished.”

shanna.monteith@gleanerjm.com