The then-teenager who was, on Sept. 11, 2018, caught on surveillance camera attempting to rape a woman near a beach has been sentenced to 18 years in jail for his crimes.
However, Terrano Samuel, 20, of Troumaca, will only have to spend a further 10 years nine months and 17 days in jail.
His sentences will run concurrently, and the one year, three months and 13 days he spent on remand was deducted from the sentences.
Samuel, who is also known as “Tone Boss”, was on bail in connection with a rape charge when around 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 11, 2018, at Indian Bay, he grabbed and attempted to rape the woman, who was returning from a swim.
Samuel pulled the woman into a nearby abandoned hotel and she screamed and asked him what he wanted but Samuel did not reply.
He grabbed at the woman’s shorts in a failed effort to remove them, then threw the woman to the ground and stomped on her stomach.
The woman fought back and regained her footing and was able to kick Samuel.
A man at a nearby building was attracted by the noise and when he saw the attack, shouted at Samuel, telling him he would shoot him.
Samuel then fled and the man who had come to the woman’s assistance gave chase, but Samuel escaped.
The incident was captured on CCTV and police arrested Samuel later that day.
He admitted to the offence after his arrested and pleaded guilty, on Sept. 11, 2019, to attempted rape, abduction, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and indecent assault.
At the sentencing hearing, on Tuesday, at the High Court in Kingstown, Justice Brian Cottle said the victim impact report had revealed that the woman had suffered severe psychological harm as a result the attack.
She is now hyper-vigilant and has moved house twice since the incident because of her feelings of insecurity.
Her relationship with her fiancé has ended and she is so afraid of Samuel that she is thinking of leaving St. Vincent, the judge said.
At the sentencing, Samuel, who did not have a lawyer, apologised for his action, telling the court, “I offer my apologies to the virtual complainant.”
Samuel said that he did not waste the court’s time and had pleaded guilty and pointed out that while he is 20 years old now, he was 19 at the time of his crimes.
He further told the court that the police had beaten him at a police station on Sept. 11, 2018 after his arrest and that he had suffered a broken arm as a result.
Counsel Renee Simmons, who appeared for the Crown, told the court that it was the first time that Samuel was making the allegation about being beaten by police.
In handed down his sentence, Justice Cottle noted that the maximum penalty for attempted rape in St. Vincent and the Grenadines is life imprisonment — a notional sentence of 30 years.
Abduction carries a maximum penalty of five years in jail.
While assault causing actual bodily harm can attract a sentence of up to five years, on conviction upon indictment.
The maximum penalty for indecent assault is two years.
The judged noted the aims of sentencing, namely retributions, deterrence, prevention, and rehabilitation.
He said that the sentencing guidelines for sexual offences speak to completed sexual offence, but added that Parliament has legislated that the penalty for attempted rape is the same as for rape.
Justice Cottle said that according to the sentencing guidelines, Samuel’s crime fell within Category 2, with level A seriousness.
The crime, therefore, attracts a starting point of 50% of the maximum sentence and that there is a range of between 35% and 65% of the maximum sentence, the judge said.
He said the aggravating features of the case are that the offence was carried out in broad daylight, and that Samuel only abandoned his assault after a stranger threatened to shoot him.
The judge said he found no mitigating features of the case and was content to move upwards from 50% of the maximum sentence to 55%.
The aggravating feature of the offender is that he had a previous conviction, though of a non-sexual nature.
However, the offence was carried out while he was on bail for a charge of rape.
Mitigating on Samuel’s behalf is that he was 19 at the time, assisted the police and admitted to the offence, the judge said, adding that this might have had something to do with the fact that the ordeal had been captured on camera.
Justice Cottle also noted that Samuel had offered his apology at the sentencing.
The judge said that he felt that the aggravating features of the case outweighed the mitigating ones and he moved the starting point upward to 60%, or 18 years in prison for rape.
Samuel was given the full one-third discount for his early guilty plea, leaving him with a sentence of 12 years in jail for rape. The time spent on remand was further deducted.
On the abduction charge, Samuel was sentenced to two years in jail, three years for assault occasioning bodily harm, and on year for the indecent assault charge.
The sentences will run concurrently and the time spent on remand was deducted from the sentence.