Ivor Laud, the man who was sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment last month for raping a schoolgirl has filed an appeal asking the Guyana Court of Appeal to either reduce or set aside his sentence.
Through his Attorneys-at-law Paul and Charlene Fung-a-Fat, Laud is contending that the sentence is severe having considered the circumstances of the case. He contends, too, that the sentence is “manifestly excessive” and that the trial judge failed to consider any personal or mitigating factors.
Laud, who is said to be in his late 30s, had been on trial for two counts of rape committed on a girl when she was eight and 10 years old. Following a trial, a 12-member jury found him unanimously guilty on both counts at the High Court in Demerara. At this stage, he is not challenging the convictions.
Between March 1 and 31, 2015, and between August 1 and 31, 2017, in the county of Demerara, he engaged in sexual penetration of the girl when she was just eight and 10 years old respectively.
The facts of the matter are that between March 1 and 31, 2015, Laud would invite the young girl over to his home under the pretence of having something to give to her.
The girl followed him into the house, and they went into the bedroom, where he placed her to lie on a bed and pulled down her pants and underwear. In her statement to the Police, the young girl detailed that Laud instructed her to hold his penis which he thereafter inserted into her vagina.
After committing the act, the girl said, she saw a whitish substance on his penis, and he then told her to go home and “wash up”, and so she did. And in August 2017, Laud performed oral sex on the girl, after he called her over to his home. At the time of the incidents, Laud’s wife and children were not at home.
Although he was found guilty, Laud maintained his innocence.
He begged trial judge Jo-Ann Barlow to have mercy on him since he is the sole breadwinner for his family. In sentencing Laud, Justice Barlow considered the aggravating and mitigating factors, the circumstances under which the offence was committed, and a victim impact statement.
According to Justice Barlow, the only mitigating factor the court found was the fact that Laud was a first-time offender. Among the aggravating factors, she took into consideration when determining an appropriate sentence was that Laud breached a position of trust since he knew the young girl since she was a toddler.
In the end, Justice Barlow sentenced Laud to 22 years’ imprisonment on the first rape charge, and 25 years on the second charge. The sentences are to be served concurrently. Further, the judge ordered that Laud be made to undergo counselling for persons convicted of sexual offences.