“A piece of me did die that night” –victim tells court in plea for long life in jail for rapist

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Convicted rapist: Ronald Armstrong

Convicted rapist, 34-year-old Ronald Armstrong will be sentenced on Thursday, and his victim has already wished him a long life in jail. The man, also known as “Sargie”, was found unanimously guilty of raping and robbing the 20-year-old woman. The rape occurred on January 22, 2013.

In her victim impact statement read to the court by State Counsel Caressa Henry during a pre-sentencing hearing, the rape survivor described Armstrong, a former labourer, as a “weak-minded, deranged, sadistic monster and a pitiful excuse of a human being”.

Although the incident occurred almost a decade ago, the woman, who is now 29, shared that she is still a sad, anxious and broken person who was once whole. While she accepted she has to live with this, she, however, said this is her rapist’s “cross to bear.”

For years, she explained that she blamed herself for what happened to her. “I blamed myself, I was angry at myself, I questioned everything I did and did not do, every action…” But with time, she said, she has finally allowed herself to be angry at Armstrong.

Recounting the ordeal, the victim pointed out that when she screamed, the perpetrator stuffed her mouth with cloth, while pointing a gun at her baby. She recalled that all her attempts to get away from him were unsuccessful.

“I couldn’t protect myself and it kills me. I felt like I died that night. A piece of me did die that night,” she added. Notwithstanding, she said that she is thankful that her child has no recollection of the horrible incident.

According to her, returning home after the incident was equally distressing due to the trauma. She said that she felt uneasy around her father, husband and brother and other men.

“I hope every day that you are tormented by your violent actions. I hope you can’t sleep at night because of what you did to me. I don’t think I will ever be able to forgive you. But I want to forget you because when I think about you and your actions towards me, it makes me sick to my stomach,” the woman told Armstrong.

Scarred

Even though she is still undergoing therapy, the rape survivor noted that she is scarred for life and still feels broken. She added that Armstrong may have wounded her body but not her spirit.

“I am alive; I am determined and I will empower myself. I wish you a very long life in jail Ronald Armstrong!” she ended.

According to court documents, the woman was at home on January 22, 2013, with her baby and sister who were both sleeping. While the victim was in the bathroom doing laundry, she was confronted by Armstrong, who was armed with a gun, and two other men.

Armstrong demanded gold and other valuables from the woman while threatening to injure her baby if she did not cooperate. Afraid for her life, she handed over several pieces of gold jewellery her baby was wearing as well as some she had stored in a cabinet.

He then pulled her into a bedroom, placed her on a bed, and raped her until she passed out. The victim was revived by her sister after the men left the house. Armstrong and his accomplices also robbed the women of two televisions and two laptops.

The case for the prosecution was presented by State Counsel Cicelia Corbin, State Counsel Caressa Henry, and State Counsel Paneeta Persaud, while Everton Singh-Lammy is the defence counsel.

Justice Priya Sewnarine-Beharry was the presiding judge.

Armstrong is currently serving a prison sentence for two counts of robbery under arms.

While armed with a knife, he robbed two elderly women, in 2020, of $50,000 and a cell phone valued $20,000. The robbery occurred at their Friendship, East Bank Demerara (EBD) home.

Meanwhile, in July 2014, he was jailed for 50 months after he was found guilty of trafficking 181 grams of marijuana and conveying 32 packs of cigarettes into the prison.