Block maker gets life imprisonment for raping 7-year-old girl

first_imgAfter a 12-member jury last month found him guilty of raping a seven-year-old girl in an East Bank Demerara (EBD) community, 25-year-old Rowland Sam was on Wednesday given a life sentence by Sexual Offences Court Judge Priya Sewnarine-Beharry.The incident occurred during January 2015 when the girl’s mother attended a funeral and left her and others in Sam’s care.At the end of his trial, Sam, a block maker, admitted that he only fingered the child and asked for mercy and forgiveness.However, Justice Sewnarine-Beharry informed him that his action was still considered sexual penetration and further upbraided him for three other acts he was found guilty of performing on the primary schoolchild, including sodomisingConvicted child rapist Rowland Samher.These acts included performing oral sex on the child and having the young girl reciprocate. She was watching cartoons and he reportedly took her to another section of the home.The girl’s impact statement, read by Senior Counsellor Nicola Foo of Blossom Inc Advocacy Centre, outlined that the child now felt uncomfortable around boys and men and that her performance has slipped at school.She, like other survivors of child rape, related that she was angry and scared that the offender took advantage of her.“I want him to be punished so that he wouldn’t trouble other children,” the girl said.Sam, in his address, said that he never wanted to waste the court’s time and observed that only half of the evidence presented during the trial was accurate. He said too that he understood that he should be punished, but wanted a chance to show that he was a better person who could contribute to society. Sam ended by stating that he was now closer to God.His lawyer, Clyde Forde added that his client was remorseful and wanted to be a more spiritual person. However, State Prosecutor Orinthia Schmidt, who led the case, told the court that Sam violated his position of trust by carrying out such acts on a girl of a tender age. Schmidt said that a strong message should be sent to society to the effect that children must be left to strive and grow fully without being interfered with.Cycle of abuseIn a probation report presented by Probation and Social Services Officer Maloma Bristol, it was outlined that Sam was himself the victim of various forms of abuse, including verbal, physical and sexual.His home situation was described as unstable, with his mother moving the family to various homes across the East Bank. Sam’s father was an alcoholic and never really cared for his son.The report further observed that Sam left school in Fourth Form and worked as both a block maker and miner. He, however, returned to Georgetown after contracting malaria. However, further checks into his background found that his mother was verbally abusive which had caused him to move out several times. At one point when he lived with his mother’s sister, that aunt was physically abusive to him.Sam also told the probation officer that he was sodomised as a child by a family member. He was jailed for 18 months for maliciously wounding a friend and when he was incarcerated, he said that an inmate had sexually molested him.Sam admitted that he was addicted to gambling while his girlfriend whom he met at church described him as reserved.SentenceIn determining the sentence, the Judge took into consideration that Sam was on remand for the last two years, that he showed genuine remorse and that he had a poor upbringing. Justice Sewnarine-Beharry outlined that he abused his position of trust and caused the child psychological and emotional trauma.Citing the prevalence of the heinous crime and the girl’s tender age, the Judge said the court could not condone such actions and ordered that Sam serve 20 years before he was eligible for parole. Attorney Lisa Cave also appeared on behalf of the State. (Shemuel Fanfair)last_img read more