Rapist jailed for 26 years
By AZARD ALI Thursday, July 19 2012
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RAPIST: A handcuffed Patrick Sylverton leaves the San Fernando High Court yesterday to begin a 26-year sentence imposed for the 2000 rape of a then 18...
A MORUGA man was yesterday jailed for 26 years after being convicted by a jury in the San Fernando High Court of raping a woman who suffers with epilepsy, twelve years ago.
The sentence was imposed on Patrick Sylverton, 39, by Justice Andre Mon Desir who told the accused that he had taken advantage of the trust of a mentally sub-normal person.
The nine-member jury heard evidence that the rape took place on Christmas night in 2000, when the victim who was 18 years old at the time, was walking along Fort George Road holding a three-month-old baby in her arms.
Sylverton, a construction worker who used to live along that road, was also walking at the time.
State attorney Sabrina Dougdeen, led evidence from three witnesses, including the victim who testified that on December 25, 2000 she was walking along the road with a three-month-old baby in her arms. The woman, now 30, said Sylverton who was walking along the road, took the baby from her and placed it in the middle of the road.
She said, Sylverton then dragged her into a nearby canefield where he raped her.
The woman reported the incident to the police and ASP Gregory Renrick investigated and later arrested and charged Sylverton.
Sylverton was represented by attorney Ainsley Lucky, but he did not go into the witness box and testify in his defence. On July 9, the jury deliberated for 55 minutes and returned a verdict of “guilty”, with sentencing being adjourned to yesterday.
“Rape is a senseless and brutal act committed against women and children. These incidents are becoming far too prevalent in Trinidad and Tobago. You abused the victim’s trust, knowing she was mentally sub-normal. The court has a duty to register its disapproval given the high incidence of violence against women,” Justice Mon Desir said.
The judge then sentenced Sylverton to serve 26 years behind bars with hard labour.
Sylverton’s sentence followed another severe punishment meted out by the courts last year. On October 11, Justice Malcolm Holdip sentenced Aaron Hendrickson to 30 years imprisonment for raping a woman in Diamond Vale.
Then on December 17, the Appeal Court increased the jail sentence of 15 years to 25 years, imposed on Kernel Sealey of Arima who was convicted of raping a girl and later threatening to kill her. The appellate judges, Paula Mae Weekes, Alice Yorke-Soo Hon and Rejendra Narine, also upheld the 15 strokes ordered by the presiding High Court judge on Sealey.