Former South African cricketer Taljard jailed for rape in UK

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Dion Taljard

London, September 14: Former Border fast bowler Dion Taljard has been jailed for 18 years after being convicted on 19 counts of rape.

Taljard‚ 47‚ who moved to Britain 17 years ago‚ was sentenced in Manchester on Wednesday (September 13), reports Times Live.

He has protested his innocence and a campaign has been launched to try and clear his name.

According to evidence and testimony presented to Minshull Street Crown Court‚ Taljard attacked a woman more than 150 times between 2002 and 2012 before she reported him to police in February 2015.

"The majority of the rapes happened on a Monday when he was at the darts and was drunk‚" prosecutor Nicholas Clarke told the court.

"He would say 'I want to have sex with you'‚ 'you will comply'. There were innumerable times when they had sex without her consent."

In sentencing Taljard‚ judge Maurice Green told him: "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 was afraid of you. On one occasion she went missing and had to have a police helicopter to look for her.

"She described herself as at rock bottom and suicidal. She felt downgraded and intimidated on many‚ many occasions. This was because of what you had done to her."

He played 25 first-class matches for Border between October 1993 and October 1999‚ taking 60 wickets at 30.93 with two five-wicket hauls.

One of the latter was claimed against Pakistan at Buffalo Park in East London in February 1998‚ when Taljard took a career-best 6/49 - a haul that featured a hat-trick made up of the wickets of Yousuf Youhana‚ Azhar Mahmood and Saeed Anwar.

Story first published: Thursday, September 14, 2017, 14:26 [IST]
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