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January 16, 2009
Man, 67, gets 12 years for sex with 8-year-old

A 67-year-old man of South Rivers was on Wednesday at the High Court in Kingstown sentenced to 12 years imprisonment after he admitted to having sex with a girl under the age of 10.{{more}}

As Justice Gertel Thom sentenced him, Cyril DaSilva smiled and kept preaching the gospel.

The court heard that on September 9, 2007, the girl, who was eight years old at the time of the incident, was left at home alone by her mother who had gone to the mountains to work the lands. At about 11:30 a.m., the child went to the kitchen, which is detached from the house. While there, DaSilva came to where she was, lifted her up and placed her on a bench. DaSilva then placed his hand over her mouth to stop her from screaming and then had sex with her.

Luckily, a man who lived not too far away from the scene saw what was going on and raised the alarm. The police were called and Da Silva was taken to the Colonaire Police station.

In his statement to the police, the elderly man, who took nearly two minutes to shuffle to the defendant’s box, told police that it was the girl who asked him to perform sexual acts on her, some of which he declined to do.

Da Silva added that he did not really do anything with the girl except masturbate.

Justice Thom told Da Silva that his actions were disgusting for a man his age and that a strong message needs to sent out there. “That could have been your great granddaughter. It’s a good thing the girl did not suffer any mental or physical harm,” Thom chided.

In 1994, DaSilva was convicted on a charge of indecent assault, and placed on two years probation. “It seems as you got older, there hasn’t been any change in your behaviour,” Thom further stated.

Mitigating on his own behalf, Da Silva said that he was a sick man and that he has since changed his life. “I beg yo please for peace in my heart and for Jesus. I go to church and I got baptised. I go to prayer meetings,” he stated.

Thom said that the only thing that went in Da Silva’s favour was the fact that he pleaded guilty and did not make the child relive the horrifying experience by having to give evidence in the matter. “ By the time you get out, you will be too old to repeat such an act,” Thom stated.