Man jailed for brutal rape of 12-year-old in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Man jailed for brutal rape of 12-year-old in St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Josiaah Thomas

(SEARCHLIGHT) — For a rape which resulted in the hospitalization of a 12-year-old virgin, a former van conductor has been jailed for 13 years and four months.

Josiaah Thomas pleaded guilty to raping the preteen when he appeared at the High Court on January 3, but his sentencing was adjourned to last Friday.

Justice Brian Cottle, before calculating Thomas’ fate, recalled for the court record, the incident as it was said to have occurred on the afternoon of December 9, 2013.

The girl, who knew the defendant as a van conductor but was not his friend, was on her way home at the time, the judge revised. She had been walking alone, in a bushy area, when Thomas approached her. Demands for sexual intercourse were made of the child, who refused. The defendant grabbed her and pulled her further into the bushes, where he went through with the act, while she screamed and cried.

Afterwards, he used his boxers to wipe the blood from himself, and this was found on the scene by the police.

A report was made on that very day, and the child taken to be medically examined. The doctor noted “very bloody external genitalia,” tearing of the vulva and vaginal walls, and significant bruising, and a ruptured hymen.

“In fact, the doctor thought that the trauma that he saw was so severe, that he referred her to the hospital for further assessment, and possible surgical repair under general anesthesia,” Cottle noted.

The occurrence has not been without psychological effects on the child who was “brutally robbed of her virginity.” An impact statement on the victim was done for the court, and the girl spoke of the terror which she felt, especially when she saw the blood. At that age, she also had to be tested for pregnancy, and sexually transmitted infections.

Her ability to relate to the opposite gender would have also been “forever compromised,” the judge added.

Thomas said he would like to say something, and asked for forgiveness. He also said that his mother has diabetes, has lost a toe, and that he wanted to take care of her. Further, he assured that if he got to “go back out,” he would place himself in a church.

Prosecuting for the crown was the acting Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Sejilla McDowall, and Ronald Marks represented partially for Thomas due to special measures.

The judge prefaced his sentencing by recapping the four elements that he is required to address when sentencing offenders. These are retribution, deterrence, prevention and rehabilitation.

Therefore, the sentence must show the view of society about the defendant’s behaviour, it must deter that offender and all others who may think of behaving in the same way, it must consider removal of the offender from society so as to protect the public, and it must deal with rehabilitation, because, “all defendants come from our society, and it will be our society,” that they return.

The maximum for the offence of rape is life imprisonment, but Cottle is operating on sentencing guidelines. Based on these guidelines, he determined that the offence before him was to be placed in the medium category, but on the serious end of the category, due to the elements of abduction and the physical and psychological impact present.

Following this, from life imprisonment, which is seen as 30 years by the court, the judge determined that 20 years was an appropriate starting point for a prison sentence. He did not move from this point because he believed the aggravating and mitigating features to have cancelled themselves out.

After the normal one third discount for prisoners who admit their guilt at the earliest opportunity was administered, the court finally arrived at a sentence of 13 years and four months imprisonment.

This will run from the day he pleaded guilty in January of this year.


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