Judge Stephenson, front, at opening of court
Judge Stephenson, front, at opening of court

Roseau High Court judge Justice Birnie Stephenson sentenced a 26-year old man from a northern community to nine years in prison when he appeared for sentencing on a charge of unlawful sexual connection on Friday July 25, 2014.

The man had pleaded guilty to two of three charges when the criminal assizes opened on Wednesday May 14. Sentencing was initially set to Monday June 2.

The man, through his counsel Peter Alleyne, told the court he was very sorry for the embarrassment he had caused to both the little boy and his mother, and that it would not happen again. Alleyne asked for leniency from the court.

The man was charged with buggery of a nine-year old boy in his mother's home between November 30, 2012 and May 7, 2013, unlawful sexual connection, and indecent assault during the period stated above. He pleaded not guilty to the first charge, and guilty to charges two and three.

The judge noted that the man lived in the house of the virtual complainant's mother from November 2012 as he had no fixed home. The man betrayed the woman's good deed by unlawfully sexually connecting with her son. The matter was reported to the police, investigated and charges laid against the man. He pleaded guilty.

Justice Stephenson viewed the man's behaviour as a breach of trust and violation of the family. She said that he makes extensive use of marijuana and had shown no real remorse. The judge reminded the court of the principles of sentencing, namely to look at the aggravating and mitigating factors, and the sentences in themselves as retribution, deterrence, prevention and rehabilitation. One mitigating factor was the non-penetrative nature of the connection.

After noting the 60% discount for the guilty plea, Justice Stephenson sentenced the man to six years in prison to take effect from the date of his remand at the Stock Farm State prison.