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By Latrishka Thomas

A man will now spend less time behind bars after the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court granted his appeal against a sentence for rape, which was handed down three years ago.

In June 2017, the man was found guilty of raping a minor, and a few months later — in October – High Court Justice Keith Thom sentenced him to 20 years in jail.

The convict, who was represented by attorney Cosbert Cumberbatch, then sought to appeal both the sentence and the conviction.

The lawyer reportedly argued against the conviction stating that one of the jurors knew one of the witnesses in the trial.

However, transcripts were said to have revealed that they only had fleeting interactions.

So, the court held that that was not enough to impute bias and consequently dismissed the appeal against the conviction.

The appeal against the sentence, on the other hand, was allowed because the trial judge, in his sentencing, did not give a starting point to explain how he arrived at 20 years.

Moreover, the Court of Appeal said that the starting point in this particular matter should have been 12 years.

That, coupled with aggravating factors such a previous conviction of serious indecency and the fact that the man was on bail for another sexual offence at the time of the incident, was equated to a 15-year sentence as concluded by the Court of Appeal.

The offence occurred in April 2015 when the convict offered the young girl a ride but kept her in the vehicle instead of promptly taking her to the location as she had requested.

He carried her to a side road where he raped her and then dropped her off at her destination.

The matter reportedly came to light when the victim disclosed the matter to the guidance counsellor at her school. 

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