Omadatt Persaud was sentenced to serve 45 years in prison, on Monday afternoon at the High Court, for engaging in ‘sexual activity’ with a child family member.
Those sexual acts, which involved penetration, occurred between August 1st and 31st in the year 2015, when the child was only five years old.
The jury returned with the unanimous guilty verdict after deliberating for more than two hours.
The sentence was handed down by Sexual Offences Court Judge Justice Simone Morris-Ramlall, who was forced to upbraid Persaud’s lawyer, Darren Wade, for his outbursts berating the jury’s verdict.
The attorney’s outburst described the decision of the 12-member panel as wrong, while adding that “the journey does not end here,” and that he would go as far as the Caribbean Court of Justice to appeal the decision.
When Justice Morris-Ramlall indicated that Wayne had displayed unprofessional behaviour in his address to the court, the lawyer swiftly apologised and took his seat.
Justice Morris-Ramlall explained that she did not impose on the convict life imprisonment — the maximum penalty.
However, she said she took into consideration the nature of the acts; the fact that it involved a child relative; involved penetration; and because Persaud had breached a position of trust.
Justice Morris-Ramlall also noted the prevalence of this type of offence, the public’s concern over such acts, and that Persaud had displayed a “lack of remorse” and disregard for the jury’s verdict.
“Perhaps you were ill-advised; you are not being sentenced to life imprisonment, on the conduct of your counsel,” the judge stressed.
She said that the convict must serve 35 calendar years before he becomes eligible for parole.
A tearful Persaud was escorted out of the courtroom moments after proclaiming his innocence.
State Counsel Orinthia Schmidt had presented the prosecution’s case.