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A St Thomas man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl.

However, having spent 532 days on remand at HMP Dodds, Olwin Sylvester Carter of Hopewell Tenantry, only has ten years and 198 days left to serve of that sentence.

Carter, who is in his late 50s, had denied committing the act on the child on September 14, 2008. However, a jury found him guilty of the offence on July 19 last year.

The 11-year-old girl was walking to a nearby shop running an errand for her mother when Carter who was situated on a veranda told her to stop on her way back as he wanted to speak with her.

She complied and Carter led her to the basement of the house where he was staying, made her remove her clothes and performed several sexual acts on her.

In alleged oral and written confessions to police, Carter reportedly said that he did not penetrate the minor and while medical evidence supported that claim it also showed that there was “attempted” penetration.

Attorney-at-law Alvan Babb had previously mitigated on Carter’s behalf suggesting that a prison term of up to four years was appropriate in this instance. He argued that Carter had no history or propensity for committing sexual assault and that the offence had not been planned.

However Principal Crown Counsel Anthony Blackman disagreed, pointing out that such an offence carried a penalty of life imprisonment.

Stating that Carter had unprotected sex with the minor, which put her at risk of sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy he submitted that a sentence of between six to eight years was appropriate in the circumstances.

However, in her ruling in the No. 5 Supreme Court today Madam Justice Jacqueline Cornelius pointed out that Carter was 50 years old at the time of the offence and took “advantage of an innocent girl who was walking alone.

“This court strongly holds the view that society . . . particularly young vulnerable females . . . must be protected from predators such as yourself,” she said as she imposed the sentence.

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