Man jailed after abducting six-year-old girl

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Mar 30, CMC – High Court judge Brian Cottle has sentenced a 24-year-old man to five and  half years in jail after he was found guilty of abducting a six-year-old child and attempting to rape her earlier this month.

The judge sentenced Kural Baptiste to one year imprisonment for abduction, two years for indecent assault, and six years for attempted rape. The sentences will run concurrently and will include a discount for the time the man spent on remand. The exact date of the incident was not disclosed except that it occured in March.

Baptiste pleaded guilty to the charge when he was arraigned one week earlier.

courtThe court heard that on the date in question, the victim went to use an outside toilet and the defendant saw her and waited until she was finished. He later took her to his house, kissed her on her lips and undressed her.

The defendant also undressed himself and attempted to have sex with the child.

He, however, abandoned the crime and gave the child an EC$0.25 cents( One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents)  coin and let her out of the house.

The child’s mother, who had gone in search of her, saw her exiting the house and questioned her. She reported the matter to the police.

When he came up for sentencing on Thursday, attorney Ronald Marks, who had defended Baptiste during the preliminary inquiry noted that his former client had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

He said that while a psychiatric evaluation of Baptiste he had requested had not been provided, the guilty plea was a powerful mitigating factor, which, he said, was buttressed by the fact that at 34 years old, Baptiste had no previous convictions.

The lawyer said that the offences for which Baptiste had pleaded guilty were quite out of character for the man and that Baptiste had told the social worker that at the time of the crime he was in such a drunken state that his judgement was altered.

He said that Baptiste had shown remorse via his guilty plea.

But in handing down his sentence, Justice Cottle noted the seriousness of the offences, adding that abduction can attract a maximum sentence of five years, while the maximum penalty for rape or attempted rape is life imprisonment.

The judge noted that Baptiste had pleaded guilty and had expressed remorse and that the accused had realised that his conduct was wrong and had stopped, and this is why he would not get a more severe sentence.

“It is good that you stopped but you shouldn’t have started,” the judge said, adding that there is no way to know how the ordeal might affect the girl when she is grown.

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by STAFF WRITER
 

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Mar 30, CMC – High Court judge Brian Cottle has sentenced a 24-year-old man to five and  half years in jail after he was found guilty of abducting a six-year-old child and attempting to rape her earlier this month.

The judge sentenced Kural Baptiste to one year imprisonment for abduction, two years for indecent assault, and six years for attempted rape. The sentences will run concurrently and will include a discount for the time the man spent on remand. The exact date of the incident was not disclosed except that it occured in March.

Baptiste pleaded guilty to the charge when he was arraigned one week earlier.

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courtThe court heard that on the date in question, the victim went to use an outside toilet and the defendant saw her and waited until she was finished. He later took her to his house, kissed her on her lips and undressed her.

The defendant also undressed himself and attempted to have sex with the child.

He, however, abandoned the crime and gave the child an EC$0.25 cents( One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents)  coin and let her out of the house.

The child’s mother, who had gone in search of her, saw her exiting the house and questioned her. She reported the matter to the police.

When he came up for sentencing on Thursday, attorney Ronald Marks, who had defended Baptiste during the preliminary inquiry noted that his former client had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

He said that while a psychiatric evaluation of Baptiste he had requested had not been provided, the guilty plea was a powerful mitigating factor, which, he said, was buttressed by the fact that at 34 years old, Baptiste had no previous convictions.

The lawyer said that the offences for which Baptiste had pleaded guilty were quite out of character for the man and that Baptiste had told the social worker that at the time of the crime he was in such a drunken state that his judgement was altered.

He said that Baptiste had shown remorse via his guilty plea.

But in handing down his sentence, Justice Cottle noted the seriousness of the offences, adding that abduction can attract a maximum sentence of five years, while the maximum penalty for rape or attempted rape is life imprisonment.

The judge noted that Baptiste had pleaded guilty and had expressed remorse and that the accused had realised that his conduct was wrong and had stopped, and this is why he would not get a more severe sentence.

“It is good that you stopped but you shouldn’t have started,” the judge said, adding that there is no way to know how the ordeal might affect the girl when she is grown.