CoA slashes prison time for convicted rapist


A man who was convicted on two counts of sexual activity with a child and had been sentenced to two concurrent life sentences has had his prison time reduced by the Court of Appeal (CoA).

Mark Campbell, was initially sentenced to life imprisonment on each of the two counts by trial Judge Simone Morris-Ramlall following a jury trial in 2017 at the Demerara High Court. The Judge had set his parole eligibility at 30 years.

A jury had found that he had twice sexually penetrated a boy: in September 2011, when the boy was six years old, and again on July 10, 2013, when the boy had turned eight years old.

However, in a ruling handed down on Monday, the Court of Appeal, ordered that the convict should instead serve 20 years in prison on each count, with parole not before 15 years.

He was also credited for the time he has already spent in custody.

In setting aside, the sentences imposed by the trial court, the appellate court held that the trial judge did not follow sentencing principles. It also alluded to recent sentencing guidelines issued by the country’s apex court, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), which would render the sentences imposed on this convict, manifestly excessive.

Campbell’s appeal was heard by acting Chancellor of the Judiciary Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards and Justice of Appeal Dawn Gregory and Rishi Persaud.

The sex offender was represented by Attorneys-at-Law Kiswana Jefford and Ronald Daniels, while Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Teshana Lake appeared for the State.