Young man who took girl’s innocence jailed for nine years
From the Courts
May 3, 2024

Young man who took girl’s innocence jailed for nine years

A 24 year old man, whose initials are S.G was sentenced to nine years in prison after a jury found him guilty of having unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl who was under the age of 13.

S.G, who was 19 at the time of the offence, appeared at High Court #2 before Justice Rickie Burnett on Tuesday, April 30, 2024, where he was sentenced to prison for having unlawful sexual intercourse with a child who was under the age of 13 between the dates of December 31, 2018, and December 18, 2019.

The sentencing remarks read by Justice Burnett are that the virtual complainant was 9-10 years old at the time of the offence. She resided in the same house as the defendant and his relatives in a community on the leeward end of the mainland, and her mother was in a relationship with the defendant’s uncle.

One day, the virtual complainant returned home from school and the defendant asked her to plait his hair. She got permission and went to the defendant’s bedroom to do so. When the virtual complainant wanted to leave the defendant’s bedroom to go upstairs, he held her hand.

She was “fighting up” with the defendant and told him to stop, but he refused. The defendant then had sexual intercourse with her. The virtual complainant told her mother what the defendant had done to her, though not immediately. The matter was reported to the police and the defendant was taken into custody.

Up to the point of his arrest, the court heard that the defendant was a gardener who suffered from asthma and used marijuana to alleviate its effects. He had grown significantly dependent on the drug to the point where he used it several times a day. The defendant was placed in a foster home when he was younger, and experienced depression, and had suicidal thoughts.

Applying the sentencing guidelines, Justice Burnett considered that the victim suffered psychological harm. He also considered how she has nightmares due to the incident and also lost weight. In the victim impact statement, the virtual complainant’s mother said that her daughter was a happy child who wanted to become a teacher, but has become annoyed since the incident.

The child said that she experienced pain during the ordeal and she saw a substance resembling “snot” being released from the defendant’s privates.

Her mother said that the defendant changed her daughter’s life by taking her innocence, and that her daughter has “put up a mental block” and she cannot get past. Justice Burnett considered that the defendant abused the trust that was placed in him. He also considered that the defendant resided in the same house as the virtual complainant, and that a weapon was not used when the offence was committed.

Prior to this offence, the defendant was of good character, and was relatively young when he committed the offence.

Justice Burnett noted that this offence carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, which equates to 30 years; he began sentencing at a starting point of 12 years. Aggravating of the offence is that the virtual complainant described seeing a substance that resembled snot released from the defendant’s privates when the offence was committed, which is consistent with ejaculation.

Mitigating of the offence was that there was no violence used when the offence was committed, so the sentence was not adjusted. There were no aggravating factors of the offender. Mitigating of the offender was that he is young, is a good prospect for rehabilitation, and he is of previous good character. The mitigating outweighed the aggravating factors and so three years were deducted from his sentence.

The offender was not afforded a one-third discount as he pleaded not guilty to the offence. Time spent on remand, which amounted to four months and 27 days, were deducted from his sentence. Therefore, the defendant will serve a remainder of eight years, seven months and three days behind bars. It was also ordered that he receives counselling over a two year period.

Counsel, Jomo Thomas, represented the defendant, while Crown Counsel, Alana Cumberbatch and Senior Crown Counsel, Richie Maitland appeared for the Crown.