Registrar and Judge Stephenson
Registrar and Judge Stephenson

A sixty-three-year old man is now serving a six-year prison sentence for having unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl who was 10 years one month old when he committed the act in a northern community between March 1 and April 30, 2011.

He was then 60 years old.

He was sentenced to prison by Justice Birnie Stephenson at the Roseau High Court on Friday March 14, 2014. Indicted with two counts by the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the prisoner pleaded guilty to the first charge on October 14, 2013.

Sentencing was postponed while the court awaited psychiatric and examinations by two doctors as well a social inquiry report from the Welfare Division. State Attorney Arthlyn Nesty told the court, the accused was the uncle of the girl and lived close to her family. He would give the child, with whom he had a good relationship, gifts of sweets and food.

In March of 2011 he called the girl on the home phone. When she came to his home, about 200 feet away, he gave her a bottle of coke. He asked her to sit on his bed and then molested her. The girl asked him to stop or she would tell her mother. He told her not to tell anyone.

That same month he molested her again and later repeated the act.

In September, the virtual complainant sister saw her crying and asked, what was the matter? She told her sister what had happened and they went to the police station. The accused was arrested, and he pleaded guilty when the case came up before Justice Stephenson last October.

Lawyer Darius Jones, in pleading on behalf of accused noted that he had pleaded guilty, admitted his transgression and shown remorse, and threw himself at the mercy of the court.

Judge Stephenson noted the seriousness of the offence and made the point that girls under 13 have not reached puberty and needed to be protected. For some, the loss of their virginity was a serious thing which could have long term and serious harm, both psychological and physical. In family court it was described as statutory rape, she said, because a minor cannot participate in the act. It was one of the worst crimes that could be committed against a young girl, taking away her innocence, she added.

The judge expressed concern once again of sexual abuse of children. She looked at the mitigating and aggravating factors.

She then sentenced the man to six years in prison commencing from October 16, 2013, the date he was remanded at the State Prison.