A 34-year-old man who tied up, gagged and raped his 12-year-old niece twice in 2006, lost his appeal against conviction and sentence.
In an oral decision given after submissions were advanced by the man’s lawyer and the State prosecutor, Chief Justice Ivor Archie and Justices of Appeal Rajendra Narine and Prakash Moosai could not fault the trial judge’s handling of the case in 2016.
“The judge gave a careful and complete summation,” CJ Archie said.
He also ruled that he saw no real risk of a miscarriage of justice by the judge’s failure to give a modified good character direction at trial.
The man’s lawyer, Daniel Khan, tried to argue that the judge failed to give a good character direction to which his client was entitled to, since he only had a previous conviction for marijuana possession.
However, during the appeal, Justice Moosai said it would have been ‘farcical’ for the judge to give a full good character direction while CJ Archie said although the authorities say otherwise, there was no logical connection between having no previous conviction and a person’s credibility.
“Experience of life tells us that. There are people who have not yet been convicted but would never get a character reference,” Archie said.
The judges were also not swayed by the arguments against the sentence as Senior State Prosecutor Mauricia Joseph said the appellant, “got off easy”, with the 20-year sentence.
In sentencing the man, trial judge Justice Devan Rampersad said the convict violated his position of trust when he committed the, “serious and heinous” crimes.
According to the evidence, the man tied-up and gagged the girl at his home where she had been living since the age of six, before proceeding to rape her. As she resisted, he threatened to punch her in the face. Having lost his appeal, the convict’s sentence will run from the date of his conviction on October 6, 2016.