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Child rapes irk judge

Published:Monday | April 26, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Barbara Gayle, Staff Reporter

Senior Puisne Judge Gloria Smith has lamented the high number of cases involving the rape of children.

Smith's complaint came after she sentenced a 50-year-old man on Friday to 12 years' imprisonment at hard labour after he pleaded guilty to raping an 11-year-old girl.

"There are too many sexual offences being committed against young girls," she declared.

Smith said although Glendon Campbell, a welder of Merrion Road, Kingston 3, had pleaded guilty, she had to give him a stiff prison term because a message must be sent to persons who were like-minded.

The judge told Campbell that the offence was a very serious one and the maximum sentence was life imprisonment.

"Sexual offences in this country are way, way out of line and young girls must be allowed to grow up and live their lives in a normal way," the judge stressed.

Raped at home

The facts of the case as outlined by prosecutors Diahann Gordon-Harrison and Adley Duncan were that in September 2008, the girl was at home with other siblings when her mother left them to buy food. Campbell, who was well known to the girl's family, was at the house at the time.

After the mother left, the girl went into the kitchen to lock the door and Campbell grabbed her and raped her despite her screams and cries.

The girl ran out of the house and made a report to her uncle who lived nearby. Her mother reported the matter to the Gold Street Police Station and the next day, the complainant was taken to the Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse. Campbell was subsequently arrested and charged.

Campbell pleaded guilty to the rape charge when he appeared in the Home Circuit Court on April 14.

Requested leniency

Defence lawyer Gladstone Wilson, in asking for leniency, said there was no gainsaying that what Campbell did was unacceptable. He said when he spoke to the accused, he said he did not know what got over him and said "it was just impulse". He said Campbell was full of remorse and was ashamed and embarrassed. He said Campbell had asked him to beg the court for leniency and Wilson asked the judge to bear in mind that Campbell had no previous conviction and did not waste the court's time.

The judge said one of the things she was disturbed about was the age of the complainant. She said the girl was only 11 years old when Campbell raped her. The judge referred to the fact that Campbell had two sons and a daughter who were much older than the complainant as they were 13, 17, and 23.

Smith said Campbell breached a position of trust because he was left at the house to protect the child and instead he abused her.

- barbara.gayle@gleanerjm.com