Deon Aaron, who was convicted two weeks ago for sexually penetrating a three-year-old girl, was today sentenced to life imprisonment.
Aaron, 53, was unanimously found guilty on October 24th by a 12-member mixed jury for the rape of a child under the age of 16, between March 1st and October 20th, 2016.
Police say the man used his fingers to rape the victim.
At his sentencing yesterday, Aaron sat in the prisoner’s dock, flanked by family members who squeezed their way into the few benches in the courtroom of Justice Jo-Ann Barlow at the Sexual Offences Court.
Prior to sentencing Aaron, the court heard a probation report and a victim impact statement.
Probation Officer Suella Noble presented to the court a seven-page report that outlined in detail the life lived by the defendant.
The report indicated that the defendant maintained his innocence and that he believed that the charge was made against him as an act of vengeance.
Noble indicated that she would have visited several of the homes and areas where the defendant resided and these along with interviews of his friends and family revealed that he was seen as disciplined. The report further said relatives and the stepchildren of Aaron were astonished at the conviction, while his former neighbours at Herstelling were of the view that the offence was out of character for him.
The report indicated that Aaron worked in several fields and served as a member of the Guyana Police Force for five years, a firefighter, and a guard for three reputable companies. The court heard that Aaron was dismissed as a firefighter for his neglect of duty and his improper behaviour with his supervisor.
Subsequent to the reading of the probation report, Justice Barlow drew it to the probation officer’s attention that of the seven pages in the report, five were dedicated to the defendant. The judge called the report unbalanced, while noting that it did not indicate the complainant’s feelings about the situation.
The court then heard from Renasha Garnette-Callender, a counsellor at Blossom Inc., who presented the victim impact statement.
“He’s a bad man and I don’t like him anymore,” Callender quoted the young girl as writing. “[He] hurt me and make me cry and God would sin him for what he did to me.”
In a plea of mitigation, Maxwell McKay, who stood in the place of absent defence attorney Madan Kissoon, told the court that he adopted the probation report in its entirety. He said that persons would have left their children in the defendant’s care without any harm.
Subsequently, the defendant was asked if he wished to say anything to the court. Aaron then stated, “I’m innocent of this.”
The Judge told Aaron that the court took note of the child, who was three when the incident occurred and five when she testified, and could only imagine her state as a three-year-old. Aaron was told that he held a position of trust, and breached that trust.
Aaron was subsequently sentenced to life in prison and he was told he would not be eligible for parole until he completes 20 years.
Justice Barlow also ordered that the convict be allowed to participate in any programme offered for convicted sexual offenders in prison.
The state was represented by attorney Abigail Gibbs in association with Tiffini Lyken and Seeta Bishundial.