Taljard has denied of doing anything he is accused for © Getty Images
Taljard has denied of doing anything he is accused for © Getty Images

Former professional pacer from South Africa, Dion Taljard, was sentenced for 18 years in prison after he was convicted of raping. According to the evidences, an anonymous woman lodged a complaint in 2015 after being attacked over 150 times by Taljard in between 2002 and 2012. The case at the Minshull Street Crown Court found Taljard, who is staying in Britain for the past 17 years, guilty on Wednesday. However, the cricketer refused to accept the charges and called himself innocent. A campaign aiming to clear all the charges off him has been started.

Times Live reported prosecutor Nicholas Clarke as saying, “The majority of the rapes happened on a Monday when he was at the darts and was drunk. He would say ‘I want to have sex with you’‚ ‘you will comply’. There were innumerable times when they had sex without her consent.”

Sentencing Taljard, judge Maurice Green said, “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. What is clear is that you are particularly liked by many‚ many people. You were a professional sportsman and I have read nine testimonials from people who say you are honest and trustworthy person.”

But Taljard’s girlfriend Jacqueline Costello has full faith on her partner. “The whole case was planned and thought up by his ex-wife who didn’t allow him to see his three children for over two years‚ then continued on a mission to get him totally out of her life. She played the system because she worked in the system and an innocent man will now never get the chance to see his ageing family in South Africa or his beautiful three daughters ever again. We need to get justice for this wonderful‚ caring‚ hardworking man who would do anything for anyone,” says a campaign, ‘Justice for Dion’, initiated by her to clear Taljard’s charges.

Taljard himself wrote via his Facebook account, “I have not done any of what I have been accused and found guilty of.”

Primarily a medium pacer, Taljard has played 25 First-Class matches for Border in between 1993 to 2000.