Taxi driver gets 16 years for rape of school girl, 12

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A 36-year-old taxi driver was on Friday sentenced to serve 16 years imprisonment for raping a 12-year-old school girl in 2015.

Feroz Shakeer was sentenced by Justice Priya Sewnarine-Beharry at the Demerara High Court

Last month, a 12-member jury found Shakeer guilty of the offence committed on December 3, 2015.

During his sentencing hearing on Friday, the victim’s impact statement was tendered in court.

The victim in her statement said that she was taunted in school by her classmates who found out about the incident.

She said that she soon after began self-harming herself and suffered suicidal thoughts.

“I would like to see him go to jail for a lifetime. Because he raped me when I was a child, only 12 years old. He robbed me of my childhood and turned what could have been a fun childhood with no care in the world into a nightmare,” she said in her statement.

He was represented by attorney-at-law George Thomas while the State was represented by Cicelia Corbin.

Thomas, in his plea of mitigation, asked the court to consider that his client is the father of two and is the sole breadwinner for his family.

The attorney said that even given the nature of the crime his client can be rehabilitated.

However, Prosecutor Corbin asked the court to consider the heinous nature of the crime in which the victim was raped and traumatised by Shakeer.

The judge considered the nature of the crime and the fact that Shakeer showed no remorse for his actions. She also considered the physical and psychological trauma the crime had on the victim.

In her sentencing remarks, the judge said that having taken into consideration all the aggravating and mitigating circumstances of this particular case, the sentence of 16 years in prison is proportionate.

The court heard that Shakeer worked as a taxi driver and on the day in question, he picked up four school-aged children, including the victim.

The court heard that Shakeer dropped one of the girls home, leaving the victim and the others in his car.

Instead of dropping the victim and the others to their requested destination, Shakeer drove to a remote location in Diamond where he gave the teens alcohol.

When the victim refused, Shakeer became annoyed. He then held her down and forced her to drink the “beer”; afterward, he raped her.

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