An electrician was on Thursday jailed for 25 years by Justice Joann Barlow after he was found guilty of sexually assaulting a physically challenged woman.
Wazir Ali, also called “Bucko” and “Electrician,” of Martin Luther Scheme, New Amsterdam, committed the act between March 26 and April 7, 2015.
The victim had attended church, and was being taken home with the church bus, which Ali drives. However, instead of dropping off the teenager, he took the other occupants to their homes, but reportedly stopped the minibus in a desolate area and requested to have sex with the victim.
The victim reportedly slapped Ali, who in retaliation vacated the driver’s seat, went into the seat in which the teenager was seated, and committed the act.
When the victim saw her attacker at court, she mumbled something to him, but due to her speech impediment, only the word ‘KILL’ was recognisable.
During her evidence, she broke down emotionally and court had to be adjourned. She was taken to the lobby, where she had to be subdued by a sister and her mother, who for more than an hour had to keep her body against the victim’s in order to keep her calm.
The court was adjourned for the day with no further testimony from the victim, but the following day she continued her evidence in the company of a senior teacher of the Special Needs School.
A probation report on Ali referred to himself as a role model, possessing a likeable personality. His family members, residents in the community, his pastor, church members, school, and prison officials all spoke highly of his character.
Those, however, were not the words used to describe the accused as he was being led into the court room on the first day of the trial.
Residents of the community had flocked the court when the trial opened, but by the time Ali was sentenced, it was only family members who remained; most of whom expressed alarm when the trial Judge handed down the 25-year sentence.
The judge believed that he was brought up in church and knew right from wrong, but chose to commit the act on a woman whose reasoning ability is below her age.
Justice Barlow said the court must send a strong signal to others.
The message must be that this type of behaviour has to stop. The Judge also ordered that while in jail, the 26-year-old Ali should be exposed to programmes for sex offenders.