20 years jail for farmer found guilty of raping girl, 16
A 41-year-old farmer was on Tuesday sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for the rape of a 16-year-old girl in 2009.
Vickram Persaud was sentenced by Justice Brassington Reynolds at the Demerara High Court. Earlier this month, a jury found Persaud guilty of the offence, which stated that he committed the act on June 7, 2009, in the county of Demerara.
He was represented by attorney Nirvan Singh, while the State’s case was presented by Prosecutors Sarah Martin and Nafeeza Baig. During the sentencing hearing on Tuesday, a probation report on Persaud was presented in court.
According to the report, Persaud came from a single-parent household and dropped out of school at an early age. Persons from Persaud’s community described him as a respectable man.
Meanwhile, the victim’s impact statement, which was read in court, detailed how the incident affected her. The victim said that Persaud shattered her life and has left her with sleepless nights and nightmares. The victim explained that prior to the incident, she held Persaud as a father figure in her life, but now, he has left her with trust issues and depression.
Nevertheless, with Persaud being convicted, the victim said that she is now finally on the road to recovery. Justice Reynolds, before sentencing, highlighted the “barbaric” manner in which the victim was raped by Persaud and the growing number of sexual violence against women and children.
According to the judge, such actions are despicable and cannot be tolerated in society. However, the judge noted that despite all of the negatives, the victim was able to persevere and move on with her life.
The judge sentenced Persaud to serve 20 years behind bars and ordered him to attend counselling for sex offenders.
Meanwhile, Persaud addressed the court to proclaim his innocence against what he deemed as a “meritless conviction.”
According to reports, Persaud and the victim were alone in his boat along the Demerara River. The court heard that Persaud began to slow down the boat and was heading to a creek away from their destination.
It is alleged that Persaud jumped out of the boat and tied it with a rope to a nearby tree. He went back for the victim and dragged her up a hill. The teen cried out for help and held on to several trees but Persaud threatened to strangle her.
It is alleged that when he reached the top of the hill after a two-hour journey, Persaud told the victim that he would not take her home until she gives him some “wife.”
After raping the teenager, Persaud took her to his mother’s house and made contact with the victim’s relatives. It is alleged that Persaud told the victim’s mother that his boat ran out of gas, so he was unable to take the victim home.
The teenager later confided in her relatives and the matter was reported to the police. Persaud was caught by the police while hiding in a clump of bushes in Timehri on the East Bank of Demerara.