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.

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1 COMMENT

  1. This is insult to injury.
    In the light of the recent numerous cases of sexual abuse of children in this country the sentence is UNSPEAKABLE. A true demonstration that crimes against property are considered far more serious than crimes against the person in the judicial system based on English common law.
    The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions must file an appeal to dispute the sentence terms given to this individual. I can’t even call him a man or a person.

    Compass, what is the status of RCIPS audit of all open child abuse cases and an internal disciplinary review of officers and supervisors involved in the case in which the police failed to investigate a serious child abuse complaint? Is has been 2 months already.
    What is the status of a public enquiry into the failings of the RCIPS investigation and Sandra Catron’ online petition?
    The DPP is appealing the Aspinall’ case as to show international regulators that they were acting against offenders. How about showing international community that this country will not join the list of Top 5 countries with the highest rates of sexual abuse of children per capita?

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