Lethem man slapped with 26-year jail sentence for raping woman
A convicted rapist, Nick Skeete, 31, also called Jason Blair and “Shatta”, who was found guilty of raping a 20-year-old woman was on Thursday slapped with a 26-year jail sentence.
The sentence was handed down by Justice Jo-Ann Barlow on Thursday at the High Court via Zoom.
On March 19, a 12-member jury found Skeete guilty of the crime, but his sentencing was deferred to Thursday. His two co-accused – Harold Anderson and John Lee Edmond – were found not guilty and as such, they were acquitted of the charges.
A probation report, which was read in court during the virtual hearing, stated that between July 8 and July 9, 2016, in Lethem, Region Nine (Upper Essequibo-Upper Takutu), Skeete raped the woman.
The court heard that at the time of the incident, the woman had just left a disco in Lethem and was waiting on a taxi to head home since she was not familiar with the area.
When the taxi arrived, Skeete, who was 27 years old at the time, along with his two co-accused Anderson and Edmond reportedly hit the driver to the head and dragged the woman some distance away to a swampy area where they had sex with her against her will simultaneously.
The victim positively identified Skeete as her rapist, but could not identify Anderson nor Edmond. As such, they were freed. The Probation Officer stated that the victim suffered a horrendous, bestial attack that resulted in severe mental trauma.
When asked if he had anything to say, Skeete said that he was “sorry” for what happened to the 20-year-old woman and asked the Judge for leniency, since he has two minor children aged six and eight to take care of.
Justice Barlow, in arriving at an appropriate sentence for Skeete, noted that he must be responsible for the act that he committed.
She then sentenced him to 27 years in prison with three additional years for aggravating factors.
The 30-year sentence was reduced after the Judge took into consideration the three years, 10 months, and 14 days which Skeete had already spent in pre-trial custody. As a result, he will spend 26 years in prison.
The State was represented by State Counsel Teriq Mohamed while Skeete was represented by Attorney Ravindra Mohabir.