DPP appeals suspended sentence in case of indecent assault of a minor
AN APPEAL has been filed contending that the imposition of a suspended sentence was unduly lenient in the face of the circumstances surrounding the indecent assault of a minor.
These circumstances are that between September 10 and 19, 2018, in Bequia, a six-year-old girl was indecently assaulted by a 71-year-old man, Lancelot Ollivierre, who was contracted to do some carpentry work at a school.
On the day in question, the little girl went to the bathroom and was attacked on her way out by Ollivierre, who aggressively touched the girl’s vagina.
A full trial was held at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court, and when it was concluded, Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett convicted Ollivierre.
Following this, Ollivierre’s defense attorney Jemalie John submitted a medical report which was signed by Dr Yamiry Lugo-Ferran, and detailed that Ollivierre was diagnosed with seizures disorder in 1999, and has cataract. Currently, he must take two sets of medication, one twice daily, and one once daily. John, in submitting this report had anticipated that it would assist the court in arriving at an appropriate sentence.
On August 23, the senior magistrate sentenced Ollivierre
to a jail sentence of 18 months, suspended for 12 months, and the appeal was filed by September 2 by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
SEARCHLIGHT contacted the office of the DPP on Wednesday, and reached crown counsel Karim Nelson, who noted that the grounds of the appeal are that the sentence was unduly lenient having regard to the facts and circumstances of this case; and that the learned magistrate erred in imposing a suspended sentence in this case.
The crown believes that the particularly aggravating circumstances of the case are: the age of the little girl, the disparity in ages between the convicted man and the victim, and that as a contractor he was placed in a position of trust at the school.
The crown also does not believe the medical condition is sufficiently serious to warrant the imposition of a suspended sentence.
As per section 127 of the Criminal Code, Chapter 171 of the laws of St Vincent and the Grenadines the revised edition 2009, the maximum sentence for the indecent assault of a minor under the age of 15 years is five years imprisonment.