Several weeks after being found guilty of two counts of sexually penetrating a 10-year-old girl on May 30 and June 2, 2014 at a West Coast Demerara (WCD) village, Abdool Jamil, a 67-year-old pensioner, was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in jail.
On Monday, he was ordered to serve two life sentences by Sexual Offences Court Judge Priya Sewnarine-Beharry, who said that the offender must serve at least 45 years before he was eligible for parole.
Justice Sewnarine-Beharry noted that a strong signal needed to be sent to society owing to the prevalent nature of the crime. A probation report was presented to the court. The convicted man’s lawyer, Clyde Forde described him as a community activist, having been recognised by the Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) for his contribution to health services. However, persons in the community where he lived described him as a “bad man” whom
they feared, according to the probation officer’s report.
When he was allowed to have his say, the pensioner, a father of six, told the Judge that he never raped the child – lamenting several times, via vivid description, that he was impotent. However, it was disclosed that he had been sharing an intimate relationship with an adult female relative of the young girl. That relationship ended after the child complained of what happened to her.
“I never had sex with a young person, much less this person,” Jamil told the court.
According to the facts of the case, the child’s mother travelled to attend a funeral in Linden and had left her young child in the care of a female relative. Jamil, however, dishonestly informed this female relative that the child’s mother had instructed that the child be left in his care and she was relinquished to his care and it was then that he raped the child on two separate occasions.
The child, through an impact statement read by child counsellor Celeste Mullen, said that she could not concentrate or perform well in school. She said that she could not forget what happened to her.
“I felt really bad and upset. My life has not been the same and my grades started to drop. I trusted him, he was nice to me, but I don’t want to see him again. I want him to be punished,” the now teenaged girl expressed.
In her determination, Justice Sewnarine-Beharry found Jamil to be unremorseful. She said that the then 10-year-old girl would have loved and respected the offender. Furthermore, the Judge said that the girl was scarred tremendously and was even blaming herself. State Counsel Lisa Cave who prosecuted the case requested a stiff penalty to be imposed. (Shemuel Fanfair)