“Shatta” to spend 26 years behind bars for raping woman

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Rape convict Nick Skeete

A convicted rapist, Nick Skeete, 31, also called ‘Jason Blair’ and ‘Shatta,’ was on Thursday jailed for 26 years after he was found guilty of raping a 20-year-old woman.

The sentence was handed down by Justice Jo-Ann Barlow via Zoom.

On March 19, a 12-member jury found Skeete guilty of the crime, but his sentencing was deferred to Thursday. His two co-accused Harold Anderson and John Lee Edmond, were found not guilty.

A probation report, which was read in court during the virtual hearing, stated that between July 8 and 9, 2016, in Lethem, Region Nine, he raped the woman.

The court heard that the time of the incident, the woman had just left a disco in Lethem and was waiting on a taxi to head home since she was not familiar with the area.

When the taxi arrived, Skeete, who was 27 years old at the time, along with his two co-accused; Anderson and Edmond, lashed the driver in the head and dragged the woman some distance away to a swampy area where he, along with the others, had sex with her against her will.

After the case took some time before the trial began, the victim positively identified Skeete as her rapist but could not identify Anderson and Edmond. As such, they were freed.

In fact, the Probation Officer stated that the victim suffered a horrendous, bestial attack that would result in severe mental trauma.

When asked if he had anything to say, Skeete said that he was “sorry” for what happened to the 20-year-old woman and asked the Judge to be remorseful since he has two minor children; aged 6 and 8, who need a father-figure in their life.

Justice Barlow, in arriving at an appropriate sentence for Skeete, noted that he must be responsible for the act he committed. She then sentenced him to 27 years, which was coupled with an additional three years for aggravating factors.

This took Skeete’s sentence to 30 years from which the Judge deducted three years, 10 months, and 14 days which reflects the time he spent in pre-trial custody. As a result, he will spend 26 years in prison.

The State was represented by State Counsel Teriq Mohamed, while Skeete was represented by lawyer Ravindra Mohabir. (Shemar Alleyne)