Appeal court cuts rapist’s life sentence
A Westmoreland fisherman who was sentenced to life in prison for holding up a woman with a knife and raping her near a police station has had his sentence reduced to 20 years.
Ian Wilson was sentenced to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after serving 15 years after he was found guilty of rape in April 2016.
However, the Court of Appeal, on July 20, set aside the life term and instead sentenced him to 20 years, with a stipulation that he serve 14 years and nine months before being eligible for parole. The two months were shaved off for time spent in custody before he was sentenced.
The appellate court also ruled that Wilson’s sentence is to be reckoned as having commenced on April 15, 2016, his sentencing date.
A recommendation was also made for him to be given psychiatric evaluation and treatment if required.
According to court documents on December 19, 2012, the complainant went to a party at the Whitehouse Police Station in Westmoreland where the appellant sold her pearls.
Shortly after, she walked a short distance from the party and saw Wilson following her.
Wilson then raped the woman for about 15 minutes.
The victim poked him in the eye and managed to escape, court documents indicate.
Wilson pleaded not guilty to rape and robbery with aggravation.
His defence was that both he and the complainant had known each other before the incident and that they had an arrangement for her to sell his pearls in exchange for sexual favours.
Wilson, during the trial, insisted that there was no rape and that the complainant was lying.
Defence attorney Trevor Ho-Lyn later challenged the sentence on the grounds that the term was “manifestly excessive” and that the trial judge, Justice Georgiana Fraser, had failed to demonstrate how she had arrived at the sentence.
Crown prosecutor Judi-Ann Edwards, during the hearing, conceded that the appellant’s grounds had merit as the sentence was excessive for rape. She recommended that the appeal be allowed.