44 years jail for raping 10-Y-0 twice
Forty-four-year-old Errol De Souza was on Thursday sentenced to 44 years imprisonment, following his conviction by a jury for raping an underage girl on two occasions.
De Souza of Moruca, Region 1, was sentenced by High Court Judge Justice Jo-Ann Barlow for two counts of rape.
He was found guilty of raping a 10-year-old girl between January 1 and January 31, 2013, in Essequibo. He was also found guilty of raping the same child on May 3, 2014, when she was 11-years-old.
De Souza was represented by Attorney-at-law, Ravindra Mohabir, while the case for the State was presented by Prosecutors Liza Cave and Seeta Bishundial.
A probation report was read in favour of De Souza by a Probation Officer Thursday.
The Officer told the court that De Souza denied having sexual activity with the victim and also that he is the father of 12 children.
According to the Probation Officer, the victim has forgiven De Souza and wished that he would return home to provide for his family.
However, in the victim’s impact statement, it was disclosed that the girl is saddened by what De Souza did to her.
It also revealed that following the incident, the victim stopped playing games with her friends and became withdrawn.
Defence Attorney Ravindra Mohabir pleaded for a lenient sentence and noted that De Souza is the sole breadwinner for his family.
Justice Barlow, before arriving at her ruling, explained that the victim had trusted De Souza but he took advantage of it and broke the bond they shared.
The Judge said that what De Souza did to the victim was more than a violent act.
“Enough is enough,” Justice Barlow declared.
De Souza was sentenced to 20 years jail on the first charge and 24 years for the second charge.
The sentences will run consecutively and he was ordered to undergo counselling.
De Souza was on bail during the trial.