An 80-year-old man convicted of assaulting a young family member was sentenced on Thursday to two years’ imprisonment, suspended with a supervision order.
Defense noted he had been assessed as being at very low risk of re-offending and as a man of previous good character.
The magistrate explained that with a 24-hour curfew, the sentence was “almost as if he is under house arrest, except that he will need to leave for medical reasons.”
Magistrate Angelyn Hernandez said she considered the man’s age and medical circumstances and determined that nothing would be achieved by sending him to prison.
No sentence would address the life-changing impact of the trauma on the victim, she pointed out.
According to informal records kept by the Cayman Compass, the defendant first appeared in court in late 2014, when he was 78 years old.
In passing sentence, the magistrate noted that the defendant was found guilty in March this year after trial on six charges of indecent assault on a female. The victim was 8 years old at the time of the first incident, so this was a case that would normally pass the custody threshold, with a starting point of four years.
But this was not a normal case, the magistrate pointed out, because she had to look at the reports provided.
Defense attorney Prathna Bodden referred to some of these reports. She said the man had suffered a series of heart attacks upon conviction. Time was given for him to recuperate before a social inquiry report could be prepared.
Reports contain significant detail about the defendant’s physical health, which is deteriorating, Ms. Bodden said. “His treatment is continuing, so we don’t have a stable prognosis.”
She noted that he had been assessed as being at very low risk of re-offending and as a man of previous good character. The reports recommended a suspended sentence supervision order.
The magistrate imposed a condition that the defendant not be left alone with a minor at any time. She said she would make a note that this sentence was exceptional and was not to be cited as a precedent in future cases.
The Compass is not naming the defendant because doing so could lead to the identification of the victim.