Cabbie haunted by sexual grooming allegations
Although he was cleared of sexual grooming and kidnapping charges in March, George McKenzie said his life has gone downhill as the stigma of the charges lingers.
"It cost me a lot of money. I knew I didn't do anything of that sort and the charges against me were wrong. I would never sleep with a child. But even after the case done and the judge find me not guilty, mi life mash up. It affect me children, my partner leave mi and mi lose mi work. Dem did video when dem a beat mi and it deh all over the place," McKenzie said. He said this beating came when the supposed mother of the child in question confronted him about their alleged contact, and he was ganged by onlookers.
"I can't walk in peace and even this week, people see mi and a call mi names. Dem call mi 'raper man' and pervert and a bag a dirty things, but I am not that type of person. I want to clear my name and live a normal life. All of this affect mi life and mi sit and wonder why sometimes. Mi nuh fool round pickney," he added.
McKenzie, a former security guard, said he used his vehicle as a robot taxi on the Papine to Kintyre route. He said in April 2021, he saw two women who asked if he was heading to Papine; one of them told the child to take his cab. McKenzie said when he took the youngster to Papine, she told him that she was feeling very ill and asked if he could take her back home. He said as she was about to exit the vehicle, she asked for his number.
"I asked her why and she told me that she had some money to pick up from her father in the evening so she would let me take whosoever to pick up the money from her father so that is how she got the number," he said.
McKenzie said later that afternoon, he received several messages from a number that he did not recognise.
"I thought the person was playing a mind game and I wanted to know who it was. A picture came in with a face wearing a mask and the person said I should send back one. Afterwards the person say dem going to bathe and I ask if I could shower them. Afterwards the person said they gonna get ready to go to her father and that is when I pick up it was the little girl and I stop texting same time," he said.
McKenzie said later that evening, he decided to run a few trips but was approached by an angry woman.
"She started cussing and saying say a she did a text mi phone and if a 12-year-old mi wah. By dem time deh people start come down pon mi and dem beat mi up and mi run. Is the police rescue mi," he said.
He said about two days later, he was arrested and slapped with sexual grooming and kidnapping charges. He said he spent a month behind bars and was dragged before the court on several occasions until the matter was thrown out by a judge. McKenzie said he felt a huge burden had been lifted and looked towards moving on with his life. But he was in for an unpleasant surprise as he was found 'guilty' by the public.
"Sometimes mi all a walk with mi son and people a point mi out and say 'See di raper deh'. Yuh have man who a tell mi not to load on dem stand because mi rape 12-year-old. Dem all take out people out mi taxi and mi can't get a work. Once dem ask why mi leave the next job and mi tell dem, a it dat for me. I am tired and I want to give my side of the story that I have never ever commit such a crime. Mi never rape, kidnap or try rape that child or any other person," McKenzie said.