An appeal lodged by former Pastor Andrew Hannibal, who was convicted and sentenced to 40 years in prison in 2018 for raping a schoolgirl, was recently called at the Court of Appeals for reports/directions. Hannibal was found guilty as charged by a jury for raping a 15-year-old girl between January 29, 2016 and January 31, 2016, in Berbice.
High Court Judge Sandil Kissoon sentenced the rapist to 40 years in prison, ordering that he serves 30 years before becoming eligible for parole.
“Your Honour and members of the jury, I never knew this day would come. When I would have found myself in such a situation and have to experience such a decision. As a community leader and a pastor for over 29 years, never did I thought this day would come. I am very sorry; it is very painful. I know the community has lost its confidence in the church because of the expectations of me. All I ask for is leniency, so I can serve the time and resume back to society as a brand-new man,” Hannibal had said in response to the verdict.
Shortly after his conviction, the convict, however, mounted an appeal against his conviction and sentence, contending that, among other things, there were discrepancies in the prosecution’s case, that the trial Judge failed to adequately direct the jury, and that his sentence was manifestly excessive.
During the trial, it was revealed that the victim’s sibling awoke one day and discovered that she was not in bed. When she was found, the teen would later confess that she was with Hannibal.
Certain information disclosed by her led to a report being lodged at the Blairmont Police Station and a medical examination being done on her which proved that she had genital injuries. It was reported that Hannibal is the founder of a church at Rosignol, West Coast Berbice (WCB).