Man convicted of raping 8-year-old girl files appeal
Collin Cummings of Wismar, Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice), the gold miner who was sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment for raping an eight-year-old girl, has moved to the Court of Appeal of Guyana to challenge the trial court’s order.
Arguments in the matter will commence this Thursday, March 23.
At the end of a trial on February 28, a jury at the Demerara High Court pronounced Cummings guilty of raping the child on August 20, 2016, in the county of Demerara.
The custodial sentence was imposed by trial Judge Simone Morris-Ramlall, who ordered that the now 60-year-old man must serve 25 years before being eligible for parole.
When the jurors returned with their unanimous guilty verdict, Cummings had maintained his innocence, stating, “I am innocent of this charge brought against me.”
He had also begged the Judge to give him the minimum penalty.
“I was afraid and uncomfortable with what [he] did to me. I was scared of him and my life has not been the same,” the victim had related in her impact statement.
Her mother claimed that after the incident, her daughter would often draw sketches with teardrops, with terms such as “ugly” and “stupid” which the parent said she would throw away.
A medical examination found that the girl’s hymen was not intact.
In sentencing the convict, Justice Morris-Ramlall had noted that he took away the girl’s innocence, adding that children are Guyana’s most valuable resource.
She had also noted that children who are victims of sexual abuse are scarred for life and that this prevents them from maximising their potential which in turn hinders the country’s development. “They should be respected and given toys and not be used as sex toys for the fulfilment of depraved adults,” the Judge had stressed, while declaring that the court would play its part in sending a strong message to potential sex offenders. (G1)