A HIGH Court judge this morning sentenced a father to ten years and 12 days in jail with hard labour for raping a 12-year-old girl in 2007.
Kelvin Duncan, 54, of south Trinidad, was on trial before Justice Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds in the San Fernando High Court and was found guilty by a jury of nine. The girl, now 23, testified about the ordeal and identified Duncan as the man who took her to a bedroom and had sex with her.
The incident happened between January 1, 2007, and April 30, 2007, at about 7 pm.
Duncan has 24 previous criminal convictions and he gave evidence that when police officers questioned him about the allegations, he replied, "I would not do something like that."
After addresses by state attorney Stacy Lalloo-Chung, who prosecuted,, and attorney Subhas Panday who defended Duncan, the jury found him guilty.
In sentencing Duncan this morning, Ramsumair-Hinds said the jail terms in matters of such a nature ranged between ten and 12 years, but in such cases the accused had pleaded guilty and the victims were older than 12. Guilty pleas attract a one-third discount from the sentence the court wishes to start with, she added.
Duncan, Ramsumair-Hinds said, was found guilty and there were no mitigating factors, not even his headaches and being epileptic. Duncan faced life as a family man, like any other normal husband and father, she said, "Not sure the migraine is something mitigating, compared to what the child endured," Ramsumair-Hinds added.
However, she took into consideration that Duncan spent 718 days in jail awaiting trial. She deducted the days and ordered him to serve ten years and 12 days in jail.