The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a 20-year sentence imposed by the Criminal Court on a defendant found guilty of 39 charges of rape and indecent assault of a little girl. The decision by the three-member appeals court was unanimous.
Describing the crimes as “extremely abominable,” the judges said that the accused “fully exploited the ‘step-father’ relationship he had with the minor, that is, the trust and intimacy he had with the complainant.”
And that for two years in a row he had fully exploited the tender age and innocence of the minor who was then seven to nine years old.
In February 2018, the Assizes Court found the defendant guilty on 15 counts of rape of a minor and 14 counts of indecent assault against her between August and September 2013 and January 2015. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
The defendant then filed an appeal against both the conviction and the length of the sentence imposed on him.
But the Supreme Court judges said: “It is also particularly aggravating for the defendant that he has never shown any remorse and that by his failure to comply which led to an exhausting re-interrogation of the complainant (through her lawyer) he forced her to relive the events which are nothing but a nightmare.”
And they concluded: “Under these circumstances, we do not consider the overall twenty-year prison sentence imposed on him to be excessive.
“On the contrary, it was the most appropriate punishment which is just and attaches the best deterrent message for both himself and for those who have such ill-fated pursuits. The sentence is upheld.”