Sex offenders Askey Roberts (left) and Kenny Richards on their way to prison in December. The judge suspended their two -year jail term last week. (iWN photo)

Justice Brian Cottle handed down the sentences on Askey Roberts, 22, and Kenny Edwards, 24, of Lowmans Hill, at the High Court on Friday after a lengthy mitigation by counsel Duane Daniel, who had asked the court to give the men asuspended sentence.

In his submission, Daniel read affidavits from the girl and her mother, in which they each said they had forgiven the men and did not want them to go to jail.

The counsel also called on the men’s grandmothers, who are 66 and 69 years old, to speak on their behalf.

The women said that the men’s incarceration would negatively affect their families since there are major financial contributors.

Daniel also asked the court to allow the men to read statements they had prepared, in which they apologised for their action and asked to be given suspended sentences.

The lawyer also cited 19th century U.S. president Abraham Lincoln, who said, “I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.”

He even invoked God, telling the judge, “My lord, I ask that you be merciful and forgiving, like your namesake, the Lord… I ask that as difficult as this case might be in respect of a custodial sentence that you see it within your power to impose a suspended sentence.” 

Justice Cottle said he was “richly moved by the fact that virtual complainant and her mother have seen it fit to forgive you. That is to your credit. There still remains the fact that you have committed a serious offence…”.

Roberts and Edwards had pleaded guilty last month to a charge that on July 12, 2014, at LowmansHill, they had sex with a girl under the age of 13.  

The court heard that the child was returning home from Kingstown, where her mother had sent her to purchase some items.

She was walking in Lowmans Hill to home in the Lower Spring area when she saw Roberts and Edwards, who were both at Edwards’ grandmother’s house.
The girl said nothing to either men and continued on her way home.

She then saw both men come out from the house and began walking ahead of her and were talking to each other, but she could not hear what they were saying.

As the child was passing one Eldon’s house in the area, Roberts held on to her hand and told her, “Girl, come gi’ me sex.”

The girl did not respond to what was said to her and Roberts continued to hold on to the child and led her inside the yard of Eldon’s house and took her under Eldon’s house.

Edwards was also present and stayed a way off, at the steps of the house, appearing to act as a look-out for Roberts, who, by then, was with the child under the house, had told her to remove her pants and underwear. She complied and said nothing.

He then took from his pants pocket what appeared to be a condom and placed the barrier method on his penis.

He told the child to adopt a particular position then proceed to have sex with her.

After his crime, Edwards told the child to remain in the same position and he went back to the steps were Edwards was sitting.

Edwards then went under the house and had sex with the girl after putting on what appeared to be a condom.

After the act, Edwards ran because the child’s mother came in to the yard, after passing Roberts on the steps, at which point neither of them had said anything to the other.

The child’s mother then began to question her but she did not answer.

The mother took the child home and questioned her further about why she was under the house.

The child did not respond until her mother beat her, at which point she told her mother that the men had had sex with her.

The men were arrested and had denied the allegation but were later indicted and went on to plead guilty last month.

In mitigation, Daniel told the court that the now 16-year-old virtual complainant, with the consent of her mother, had signed an affidavit indicating that she would not like for the men to spend time in prison or for them to receive a minimal sentence.

Lawyer Duane Daniel speaks with his clients as they are escorted to prison last Friday. (iWN photo)

Both the girl and her mother said that the defendant had apologised to them in the presence of the prosecutor and had expressed a desire to live better lives.

Both the girl and the mother, in their individual affidavits, said that they have forgiven the men and believe that they have learnt their lesson.

In the girl’s affidavit, she said that she had not wanted to come to court to give evidence in the matter and had only done so because she was summoned.

Daniel told the court that the girl had indicated that she would have loved to come to court to express her feelings directly during the sentencing, but could not do so because she had exams.

The lawyer said that it would appear that the virtual complainant is on the road to recovery, has made an effort to put the incident behind her and has no animosity toward the defendants.

In handing down the sentence, justice Cottle noted that the maximum sentence for the offence in life imprisonment.

He, however, said that there is a way in which the court looks at those matters in arriving at an appropriate sentence.

The judge said he first looked at the harm that they have caused by the offence, adding that the offence does not amount to a category one but rather, a category two.

He said that the learning suggests that the offence is on the lower level of category two.

Regarding the aggravating features, the judge said that the offence was committed against a young child by both men acting together.

He said that the mitigating features were no level of gratuitous violence, no pregnancy or diseases resulted, no abhorrent perversions, and no relevant previous conviction.

The judge noted that the defendants were young at the time and have expressed remorse.

Justice Cottle noted that the maximum sentence in such a case is 30 years imprisonment.

He said that starting at the notional 4.5 years imprisonment relevant in the case and deducting for their personal characteristics, including their age, guilty pleas and expressions of remorse, he would deduct 1.5 years.

He said that the learning suggests that he deduct one-third of the sentence for the guilty plea.

Justice Cottle further said he has to consider the classical criteria of deterrence, rehabilitation, prevention and retribution.

He said that while Daniel had argued that his clients had rehabilitated themselves, the court still has to send a message to other young men that this is not the type of behaviour that the state would tolerate.

9 replies on “Men get 2 years in jail for sex with minor”

  1. These dirty dogs should have received 30 years each.

    If they were so ramish, they should have bulled each other, with or without a French letter.

  2. This is an injustice. Four years ago an 18 year old and a 20 year old assaulted a 12 year old. There are a lot of sealy abused children in SVG and adults ( who knows better) are waiting their turn to have seen with these minors. In these pedophilic minds once these minors are ‘broken in’ then they are fair game for any man who wants a ‘piece’. This nonsense has to stop.
    And until parents/ guardians are required to pay the state monies in compensation for their wards behaviour, only then we will see an improvement in parenting and by extension a corresponding reduction in crime in SVG.

  3. This is some real confusing sentencing given what happened in the two other cases of guys having sex with underage girls.

    The wutless ex policeman got 30 years! The wutless old man got 15 years. OK, I understand all factors being taken into account and the number of times, these wutless men had sex with the young girl but 2 years? Really.

  4. You are a sick and filthy society. The Island is crawling with Pedophiles. From the top to the lowly. These were two Minors and they were both violated by these two young me n. Who have probably done this before. The mothers are a disgrace. What would they be saying if both girls had become pregnant? That it is ok. Stand up for morality. There doesn’t seem to be .u h on that Island It’s all due to stinking LABOR LOVE.

  5. Very poor reporting, there is no such thing as child sex, it’s rape pure and simple. Have a word with your journalistic team and call it what it is.

  6. This is how little you value the girl child? 2 years for rape? It is the court & society’s job to protect those who cannot protect themselves, underage girls & the economically disadvantaged as is clearly the case here. Those rapists do not even look remorseful in the photograph. They didn’t even respect your court enough to dress properly. They will rape again

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