A child molester from St Lucia was handed over to immigration officers on Tuesday after he was sentenced to time served for his crime.
The order was given by Madam Justice Pamela Beckles after she sentenced the first-time offender for rubbing his penis on a little girl’s privates a year and a half ago.
Handing down her decision in the No. 5 Supreme Court, the judge had started with a sentence of five years in prison. However, after deductions were made, what remained was the time he had already spent at Dodds.
“I do recognise that this is the maximum sentence for such an offence but consider that it is justifiable based on the circumstances of this particular case,” Justice Beckles said. “This was a serious crime committed against a very minor child.”
The man, whose name is being withheld to protect the identity of the child since they resided in the same building when the offence was committed, pleaded guilty after a trial had commenced to indecently assaulting the girl on November 7, 2020.
The judge pointed out that the sexual nature and gravity of the offence were aggravating. She also noted the disparity in age between the offender and the victim as well as the breach of trust on the part of the man and the effect the offence has had on the lives of the girl and family members.
“You were not a stranger to the complainant. In fact, you were viewed as part of the family. You would have, therefore, been expected to protect the complainant and not expose her to any harm. You failed miserably in that regard,” Justice Beckles stated.
She then imposed the five-year starting sentence but decreased it by one year, given that the convict had pleaded guilty, albeit when a trial had already started; his clean criminal record; and his remorse.
The 909 days that he spent on remand at Dodds were then deducted from the four-year sentence, and a 20 per cent credit was given for his guilty plea, resulting in time served.
The St Lucian was then released into the custody of two immigration officers who were present in court “for the appropriate action”.
“Because we know that you are a non-national. Therefore, they will determine how best you can get back where you came from,” Justice Beckles said.
Principal State Counsel Krystal Delaney and Senior State Counsel Joyann Catwell were the prosecutors in the case in which defence attorney Simon Clarke represented the accused.