Sex offender sentence outrages community

| 19/08/2013

(CNS): Readers of Cayman News Service expressed significant concerns over the weekend about the six month sentence handed down to a 44-year-old local father who pleaded guilty to molesting his 8-year-old daughter over a two year period. Meanwhile, 300 people have signed a petition created by local activist Sandra Catron on Friday asking for legislators to create minimum sentences and for the director of public prosecutions to appeal the sentence handed down by Chief Magistrate Nova Hall last week in Summary Court. The man, who cannot be named because of a law prohibiting the identification of sex-offenders where the perpetrator's identity could also risk identifying the victim, was given three sentences of nine, seven and three months for indecent assault and common assault.

The magistrate ordered the sentences to run concurrently and suspended three months, arriving at what many believe was an overly lenient sentence. The man had pleaded guilty to the crime and had expressed his regret to the court. He was also said to be receiving counselling for the offending behaviour. However, the child victim was also said to be in need of significant help, as she had been severely affected and was also self-harmng. The child was also upset that her father was being incarcerated and was blaming herself for telling what he had done.

CNS readers were outraged by the sentence and over seventy people commented on the issue with most appalled by what they believed was a low sentence.

However, sentencing guidelines set out by the chief justice only apply to rape and defilement and not the offence of indecent assault, as in this case.

Meanwhile, a report in the Sun Sentinel demonstrates that Florida is also dealing with issues relating to released sex-offenders. An eight month long investigation by the paper found that the state authorities had set hundreds of rapists and child molesters free to harm again.

From South Florida to the Panhandle, these men have cut a fresh trail of pain, molesting more than 460 children, raping 121 women, and killing 14.  Many offenders attacked again only days after their release, with six finding new victims the same day they walked out of the prison gates.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    He looked so full of himself & innocent XXXX & look at the real person he really was! We need a sex registry & signs posted outside their houses, something really have to be done before something drastic happens! Caymanian

  2. Len Layman says:

    My first thought was that the sentencing guidelines may have restricted the magistrate, but as I understand it that is not the case.  The guidelines are considerably stricter than what was handed down (although in my opinion not harsh enough).  That leaves it to the magistrate and the system to be at fault for this. 
    Why would the theft of large sums of money be thought to be a larger crime and deserving of Grand Court while the sexual abuse and defilement of an 8 year not be deemed to be as serious.  (Before answering this close your eyes and try to imagine what happened to this child and how it will effect her long term.)
    I guess the question for us as a society is "how important are our children"?  If this sentence is an indication then we have a problem that is much larger and frightening than I thought.
    We must speak up and demand that our elected officials make the necessary changes to our laws to protect our most precious and most fragile assets, our children. 

  3. hart broken says:

    Unfrair,thats what I called the Legal System.

    guess what a man who was one of the Master in the kidnapping 2010, is already out,  3 years """"""' thats all he received. have Cayman Status giving by the cabinet, oh,,, according to the """ Law he is here to stay,,,, a other criminal giving Cayman Status to continue commiting crime….. I do hope he have a letter to GOD when the time come asking for forgiving forsuch of horrendous crime to an inocent person.


  4. ConcernedCaymanian says:

    What kind of XXXX this is I'm hearing?!  Cayman looks like its trying to run competition with Florida and this justice system hear is a big rass joke.  How can you sleep at night knowing this man assaulted his own daughter in that way for so long.  Forget it being two years, 2 seconds is justas horrible.  Karma is a bitch! What goes around will surely come back around.

  5. Nathan Bedford Forrest says:

    Pretty pathetic that we can't lock a guy for abusing an 8 year old girl!! Apathy at its finest! 

  6. Whodatis says:

    Should we count this as yet another perk of our UK affiliation?
    It is a fact that our judges rely on British cases and sentences for guidance on their decisions.

    In addition to “civilised” legislation in regards to human rights, gay issues etc. – we should accept these absurdities as yet another example of progress into the 1st world. (E.g. Saville and the pedophilic circus that is the “BPC” perverts club and blatant coverups on the part of British police for decades.)
    Different jurisdictions regard the severity of certain crimes differently.
    Whereas a Caymanian may instinctively want to chop off a child molester’s balls – other cultures apparently believe a light tap on the wrist will suffice.

    Granted, that was somewhat troll-ish of me as I know many Brits are outraged by similar issues over there, however it must be said that the judicial and legislative arms of the UK has much to answer for in this regard.

    That being said, the point remains that much of our “justice” in Cayman is a reflection of norms in a foreign jurisdiction – the UK.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yep! It's all the UK's fault.Yawn. ZZZZZZZ

    • Anonymous says:

      In your book, whodatis, uk is responsible for everything bad in this world. Should, God Forbid, another hurricane hit Cayman, that will be the Brits fault too. Change the record? Tedious is too light a word to descibe your demaguogue monologues

    • David Shibli says:

      For Heaven's sake, Whodatis makes a point that is totally valid. I wonder how many people who suddenly found their own sons/daughters victims of these nasty sexual predators would thumb down? Not one of you, (I hope). Well Whodatis, I don't know who you are, but you raise a good point and I am proud to give you a thumbs up.

    • Anonymous says:

      There are too many people hiding their true identities and what their agenda and plans are, but please not the Magistrate was not from the UK and I wonder if the sentence or reaction would have been different, had this unfortunate horrific act been perpetuated on a child from Jamaica? Would you be saying the same? How dare you bring this up as a Uk/British national issue? hmmm do have to wonder who YOU are though….

      • Anonymous says:

        Please don't bring any racist nonsense into this.Obviously no one knows the nationality of the child so it would make no difference.

    • Diogenes says:

      First, do you have any evidence whatsoever for your assertion that the sentencing – in this case – is in any way based on either UK case precedent or sentencing guidelines, or is it just a blind assumption on your part?  I don't see any reference to it in the article – do you have the judgement?  Were you present when the judge announced the sentence and gave reasons?  Or are you just working off the assumption that since the Cayman court does take account of UK precedent in many cases where the law is similar it must invariably be the case here, particulalry where you don't agree with the outcome.  I will happily apologies if you have some real evidence forthe assertion, but given one of the offences doesnt even exist in English law I would be surprised.

      Second, can you explain the use of quotation marks around the word civilised?  You don't seriously mean that human rights and gay issues are not legitimate concerns meriting protection of the law, do you – or are you one of those that fondly remembers our prior criminalisation of homosexuality?  Or are you trying to draw a distinction betwen areas you think its legitimate to follow UK precedent on, versus "absurdities" like this case?  I would like to think the latter, but given the common usage of quotation marks to denigrate or mock, I am rather afraid that its the former.  

      • Anonymous says:

        20.34..whodatis is a law unto himself, and fortunately, only himself. Please remember it is never worth arguing with mad dogs.

    • Anonymous says:

      Total bull. In the UK this man would have spent at least six years in prison and the rest of his life on the sex offenders register. Whodatis you are a complete moron.

    • Anonymous says:

      Contrary to what the posters below believe, Whodatis is completely correct. The UK sentencing guidelines for an offence of this nature involving contact between either the naked genitalia of the offender or the victim using part of his body other than his genitalia prescribe

      26 weeks custody

      as a starting point and a sentencing range of 4 weeks to 19 months. No doubt that is what informed the magistrate's sentence since our local sentencing guidelines do not cover this particular offence. 

  7. Anonymous says:

    I think this is yet another example of certain sections of Cayman Islands society trying to ignore a serious problem in the vain hope it will go away. Not only was this sentence way too lenient but the whole thing was handled in way that was completely out of step with the judicial process in the UK for similar offences. As has already been posted, can anyone explain to us all why this wasn't heard before a Judge and jury in the Grand Court?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Darn right we're engraged this is nothing short of disgusting.  When you consider some of the very harsh sentences handed down for non-violent offences and possession, this flies in the face of reason and rationality.