An elderly man will be spending the next seven years behind bars for sexually assaulting a girl under the age of 16.
The sentence was imposed upon Kenrick Morrison, who is in his 70s, by Justice Jo-Ann Barlow, after a jury yesterday returned a unanimous guilty verdict at the conclusion of his trial.
Morrison had previously denied the charge that on February 12, 2013, he engaged in sexual activity with a child under the age of 16.
The trial was conducted in-camera and saw four witnesses taking the stand. After about two hours of deliberation, the jury found Morrison guilty.
Before passing sentence, Justice Barlow reprimanded Morrison, while noting the strict view the law and society take regarding such offences against children and added that the sentence must be reflective of this view. The judge also firmly upbraided the convict for the position of trust which he breached in committing the crime.
When asked whether he wanted to say anything before being sentenced, Morrison who wore an expressionless look on his face, declined.
His attorney, Lawrence Harris, however, begged the court to temper justice with mercy and noted that his client, a father of two, had no previous antecedents.
Although noting that the offence carries a maximum sentence of 10 years and that no mitigating factors were presented to the court, Justice Barlow informed the convict that he would be sentenced to seven years in jail.
Morrison’s family wept loudly after he was escorted from the courtroom to the prisoners’ holding facility, where he was kept before being whisked away to prison.
The state’s case was presented by Prosecutors Michael Shahood and Narissa Leander.