BVI judge reduces ‘harsh’ sentence for Guyanese man convicted of sex with minor

Guyanese Dellon Williams, who was sentenced last week to five years in prison for having sex with a minor and impregnating her in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), got a reprieve yesterday after the Judge in the case found her initial sentence to be too harsh.

According to the BVI Platinum News, High Court Judge Rita Olivetti yesterday said she was too harsh in handing down the sentence, citing several mitigating factors presented by Williams’ lawyer Stephen Daniels last month. The Judge said that a Judge has jurisdiction to review and vary a sentence he/she has passed. It was the first time she reviewed a decision.

Giving her reasons for reducing the sentence, the judge said among the areas she should have looked at more closely, was the fact that the minor had misled the convict about her age by saying that she was older to match her physical appearance. She also pointed out that the 16-year-old was the party that initiated the relationship,

Williams was a first time offender. According to Olivetti, it was wrong for her to penalise Williams for not pleading guilty to the offence and wasting the court’s time, since the evidence was overwhelming against him. “That is not appropriate at all,” she was quoted as saying.

Late last year, Williams had pleaded guilty to the charge after the paternity test proved that he was the father of the teenager’s child, but a few days later he changed his plea to not guilty. The prosecution had stated that Williams had unlawful sexual intercourse with the complainant while she was under the age of sixteen which resulted in her being pregnant.

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