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George McDonald on his way to prison on Friday. (iWN photo)
George McDonald on his way to prison on Friday. (iWN photo)
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A 55-year-old man was on Friday sentenced to 15 years in prison for two counts of sex with a female relative, who was 10 years old at the time of the offence.

Justice Brian Cottle handed down the sentence on George McDonald at the High Court, after hearing submissions from defence counsel Ronald “Ronnie” Marks and prosecutor Karim Nelson.

McDonald first assaulted the child when she was living with a mutual female relative, whose home is located closer to her school, four years ago.

The court heard that on the afternoon when the crime was first committed, the child was home alone.

Justice Cottle said she should have been safest there and McDonald’s paternal urges should have been to protect the child but he used the opportunity to have sex with her.

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On the second occasion, McDonald violated the child when the relative with whom she was living sent her to his home to borrow a cutlass.

The victim made no complaint to the female relative with whom she was living nor to another female relative who was nearby at the time.

Justice Cottle noted that when the social welfare official informed the family members of the report that the child had made, they immediately said it could not be true, without bothering to hear the details or from the child herself.

In mitigation, counsel Ronald “Ronnie” Marks said that the defendant was one of eight children for his mother and three for his father.

He is the father of two children, ages 31 and 12, and the grandfather of three.

He said that McDonald spent most of his adult life in isolation from the rest of the community.

The lawyer described his client as a very hard working farm labourer who works practically every day.

Marks said that McDonald had abused his position of trust, adding that another aggravating feature was the disparity in their ages, noting that the difference was around 40 years.

He said the mitigating factors are essentially the absence of aggravating factors.

The lawyer said there was no abduction, use of violence, or threats used in the commission of the crime.

He further said McDonald was only charged after he reported a crime against someone else.

Marks said that had he not done so, neither McDonald nor the other man would have been brought before the court.

He suggested that the court begins with a notional sentence of between 10 and 15 years and adjusts according to the mitigating and aggravating factors.

However, Nelson disagreed that those were the only aggravating features.

He noted that at the time of the offence the girl was only 10 years old, adding that this is more than just a disparity in their ages.

Nelson said that while Marks said there was no coercion, the virtual complainant said that on the second occasion that she was assaulted, McDonald had pushed her on the bed and when she asked him what he was doing, he told her to shut up.

This, Nelson said, suggests coercion.

The prosecutor said that the Crown believes that the only mitigating factor is that the prisoner has no previous conviction.

Nelson said that based on the sentencing guidelines, the seriousness of the crime falls at level A, meaning that it was high.

He said the guidelines suggest a sentence between 10 years and six months and 18 years as a starting point.

“So that, my lord, it is our submission that the aggravating factors in this case far outweigh the sole mitigating factor,” Nelson said.

In passing sentence, Cottle said:

“Mr. McDonald, I think that rape of a child is vile. The local legislatures provide a maximum of life in prison for men who commit this offence.”

The judge noted that the man was convicted after a full trial

Justice Cottle said that there were other aggravating features, noting the psychological trauma that the child suffered.

“You abused a position of trust,” the judge said and noted the disparity in the ages of between McDonald and his victim.

The judge, however, agreed with Marks that there is an absence of any gratuitous violence.”

The judge said that because of the view that he has of the seriousness of the offence, he would start with a prison sentence of 15 years, half of the notional life sentence of 30 years.

He noted that there were two counts.

“And any offender who commits repeat offences of rape on our children can expect to receive consecutive sentences from this court,” Cottle said.

He said that he had arrived at sentences of 10 years for each count, but would reduce the second by five years.

9 replies on “Man jailed for sex with 10-y-o relative”

  1. The denial by family members is the norm rather than the exception not only for such vile crimes but for all crimes in SVG, an issue I will elaborate on in due course in my series on crime.

  2. Its about time SVG start to prosecute anyone who violates our young girls who are under the age of consent with harsh prison sentences. Especially in the case of underage pregnancy, deal harshly with them in order to deter these acts from happening.

  3. What happened to morality rule? God help us. People are becoming exactly what the bible said. Desperate and evil. How easy they turn their back on God.
    This dude should get fifty years in prison. All pedophiles should be caught and put in prison. I heard somewhere that child molesters are despised among the general prison population. Have them analysed. Maybe then the victim can get some justice. Children have rights to be protected from these beasts. Build at least one more prison complex. The poor child has no fault in this. To bad the bald-head judges will give a slap on the wrist.

  4. Wow Wow Wow!!!!!! Here we go again! Another merciless man taking wicked advantage of an underage child. Psalm 127: 3 tells us that children are a reward from God, who is our Creator. Ecclesiastes 12: 1. That means that children are precious gifts from God. How do we treat a precious gift? We cherish it. We try our best to see that no harm/ damage is done to it. Therefore, men and women, DON’T abuse children sexually or in any other way. Since they are gifts from God, we must protect them. Any man or woman who is tempted to molest children should fight that dirty desire with all his/her strength. Seek help from a good and trusted source. Pray to the Almighty God Jehovah in Jesus’ name for help to avoid giving in to temptation. Psalm 83:18; John 15:16; Psalm 55: 22. Then act in harmony with your prayers by avoiding any situation that can tempt you to molest a child, such as being alone with a child. Again, protect the children. DON’T ABUSE THEM in any way whatsoever!!!!!!

  5. Living in the Last Days, we know that persons will be selfish and so, it is no surprise when some persons, especially men, take advantage of young girls to satisfy their improper sexual desire. 2 Timothy 3: 1-5. However, the Scriptures were NOT telling us to fulfill the negative parts of Bible prophecy. Why not choose to do the good that the Scriptures encourage us to. Psalm 37: 3. This includes looking after children’s welfare, protecting them from all harm. Like Jesus, and his Father, ( Mark 10: 13 – 16; Ecclesiastes 12: 1; John 20: 17 ) let us love children and prove it by protecting them from all forms of abuse – whether sexual, physical, verbal, emotional, or any other. By doing so, the Most High, who is the MOST PRECIOUS Person in the entire Universe, will be so pleased with us. 🙂 Isaiah 12: 2; Isaiah 26: 4; Psalm 83: 18; Revelation 4: 11. [ Please read ALL Scriptures. Thank you]

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