Five years and three months in Her Majesty’s Prison – that was the penalty given to a 21-year-old man who raped his five-year-old niece.
The sentence was handed down yesterday by Justice Colin Williams who used 15 years as the starting point for a crime that carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, or 30 years in this context.
The youngster, who previously pleaded guilty to the charge of incest, is said to have raped the minor on at least two occasions on December 28 2019.
According to the little girl’s brother, on the night in question he and his uncle were playing football in Ovals and returned home after 9pm.
The then 11-year-old boy was sent to purchase something, and when he returned he saw his then 18-year-old uncle in the bedroom where his sister and mother slept and observed him pulling up both his and the child’s pants.
The young boy noticed that his uncle’s penis was erect, and he questioned what had taken place.
The accused laughed.
The boy then went to sleep, but during the night, he woke up to find his uncle penetrating the young child.
He even saw the accused cleaning the child before dressing her and himself.
The young boy immediately woke his mother and told her what he’d witnessed, who, when she checked her young daughter, found evidence of the cleaning.
The mother further cleaned the victim, and sent both of her children back to sleep, while she messaged the girl’s father to inform him about the incident.
The mother reported the matter to the police the next morning, and when questioned, the five-year-old told the police that her uncle regularly assaulted her in such a way.
She also stated that the accused threatened to kill her mother if she told anyone about what he’d been doing to her.
The defendant was taken into custody, and when questioned by the police, he denied the allegations and said that he only used to masturbate over her, and touch her with his penis.
When asked why he did this, he responded that, he “was horny and wanted sex”.
The court heard yesterday that the victim is traumatised by the ordeal and wants to wear boys’ clothes because she is worried about being raped again.
The judge, however, began sentencing the young man by stating that he does not consider him to have been an adult at the time of the incident because he is “not the sharpest tool in the shed”.
In addition, the judge counted the paedophile’s previous good character and remorse as mitigating factors.
And after also subtracting the usual third for a guilty plea, the man was given less than six years, while time served will also be taken into account.
This was despite placing the offence in the most serious category.
The judge’s final remark was, “this is a sad case for the victim, and sad as well for the defendant”. By Latrishka Thomas/NEWSCO, OBSERVER