The trinidad Guardian / A 58-year-old Morvant mechanic who was found guilty of sexually assaulting his nine-year-old neighbour more than a decade ago has been sentenced to nine years in prison with hard labour.
In passing the sentence on the Never Dirty resident, whose identity has been withheld to protect the identity of his victim, Justice Maria Wilson said he had breached his position of trust as an elder in the community when he attacked the girl at his home in 2005.
The man is expected to be released in a little over two years as the time he spent on remand awaiting trial and the period he was incarcerated after being found guilty by a nine-member jury in July were deducted from his sentence. Wilson initially said that a 10-year sentence was appropriate in the case, but agreed to reduce it by one year as the prisoner had a clean criminal record before being charged.
She also noted that his bio-social and risk assessments reports from the Prison Service showed that he had impeccable behaviour while imprisoned and suggested that there is little chance of him re-offending upon release. Wilson said, however, that such crimes are far too prevalent in T&T and a strong message needs to be sent to potential offenders.
According to evidence presented during the trial, the mechanic committed aggravated sexual assault and grievous sexual assault on the girl in June 2005 when she visited his home to collect an item at her mother’s request.
The victim, who is now 22, testified that the man answered the door dressed only in his underwear and invited her inside to watch a movie. She said she believed that the movie was a cartoon but it turned out to be pornography.
The girl said she attempted to leave but the man grabbed her kissed her, then pinned her down and sexually assaulted her.
The man was caught red-handed by the victim’s mother who barged into the house because she felt that her daughter was taking too long to return home.
At the trial, the victim and her mother said the girl would normally visit the man’s home to play with his daughter who was the same age and went to the same school.
The victim said she still had mental scars from the incident and had not received counselling.