Sophia youth sentenced to life imprisonment for rape of child; still in hiding

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Alex Garraway, also known as “Uncle Alex”, who absconded from the authorities, was, on Thursday, sentenced to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after severing 20 years, for the rape and sexual assault of a five-year-old girl.

The sentencing was handed down by Justice Brassington Reynolds at the Demerara High Court in the absence of Garraway.

In May, Garraway of Cummings Park ‘E’ Field Sophia, Greater Georgetown, was convicted by a jury.

The first count alleged that the incident occurred between November 1, 2018, and April 30, 2019. The second count alleged that during the same period in question, Garraway sexually assaulted the child by touching her buttocks.

Due to Garraway’s absence from court, the Judge had issued a warrant for his arrest, but during the sentencing hearing on Thursday, it was revealed that Garraway is still on the run and his location is currently unknown.

A probation report was read in court by social worker, Remesia Lewis, who said that based on investigations she conducted in the Cummings Park community, Garraway was described as “a good youth”. However, whenever he imbibed, he would be involved in frequent fights. In addition, he reportedly smoked cigarettes and marijuana.

In her conclusion, the social worker said that Garraway should have been the protector and guardian of the child, but instead, he violated her.  In so doing, he betrayed the trust which was placed in him by the child, who may now suffer the psychological effects of this incident for many years and affect her general wellbeing.

“It is believed that children should be allowed to live a normal life with the guidance, supervision and support of every adult member of the family, community and by extension the society. The accused has done otherwise and therefore, it is felt that a strong message must be sent as a reminder that our children should be protected at all times in order for them to develop into well-adjusted individuals who can make meaningful contributions to society,” the social worker said.

In a plea of mitigation, Garraway’s attorney, Ravindra Mohabir, told the court that his client is young and can be rehabilitated.

State Prosecutor, Nafeeza Baig, however, asked the court to consider the nature and gravity of the offence and the prevalence of such crimes in today’s society.

The judge, before imposing the sentence, considered the barbaric manner in which the victim was raped, and noted the need to protect “little defenceless girls.”

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