Elderly man appeals 7-year jail sentence for sexual assault

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An elderly man, who was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment after a jury at the Demerara Assizes found him guilty of having sexual activity with a child under 16 years, has moved to the Court of Appeal to challenge the High Court ruling.

Kenrick Morrison, who is in his 70s, was on September 4, 2015, sentenced to seven years by Justice Jo-Ann Barlow after a jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict at the conclusion of his trial.

Morrison had previously denied the charge, which stated that on February 12, 2013, he engaged in sexual activity with a child under the age of 16.

The trial was conducted in-camera and saw four witnesses testifying. After about two hours of deliberation, the jury found Morrison guilty.

Before passing the sentence, Justice Barlow reprimanded Morrison, while noting the strict view the law and society take regarding such offences against children and added that the sentence must be reflective of this view. The Judge also firmly upbraided the convict for the position of trust, which he breached in committing the crime.

When the case was called on Friday, Morrison argued that Judge Barlow misdirected the jurors when she made errors when summing up the evidence to them.

He further contended that the trial Judge’s summing up was unbalanced as it was in favour of the prosecution.