The dream of 26-year-old Kimani Telesford, to establish a small business, bar and eatery, somewhere in the St. George’s area, has come to a standstill, as the aspiring chef has been ordered to spend the next 7 years and 11 months of his life behind bars at the Richmond Hill prison for the indictable offence of unlawful carnal knowledge.
The sentence was handed down on the Beaulieu, St. George resident last week Thursday by Madam Justice, Paula Gilford, at the No. 2 High Court on The Carenage in St. George’s, following the return of a guilty verdict by a 9-member jury panel on March 27.
The incident allegedly occurred 6 years ago, on September 10, 2011, at Beaulieu, at the home of the now convicted man’s grandparents.
According to the evidence presented in court, on the day in question, the victim was making one of her regular visits to the home of Telesford’s grandparents.
The accused reportedly pulled the victim into a room, forced himself on top of her and had sexual intercourse with her.
However, from the onset of the case, Telesford maintained his innocence and denied ever being at his grandfather’s house at the time in question.
The now convicted man, who was 20 years old at the time of his arrest, was also facing a rape charge.
However, he was acquitted from that offence as the jury felt that even though the victim was only 12 years old at the time when sexual intercourse occurred, it was consensual.
Under the Criminal Code, 16 is the age of consent.
The first time offender was represented by Defense Attorney, Ruggles Ferguson, who was assisted by Attorney Sabina Gibbs.
In mitigating his case, Attorney Ferguson pointed to the overwhelming positive views reflected in Telesford’s Social Inquiry Report (SIR).
He also highlighted the remarkable improvements his client has made from the boisterous boyhood character he was while attending the Boca Secondary School, to an aspiring chef, who up to being found guilty in March, was employed as an assistant Chef at Le Phare Bleu Holiday Resort.
Ferguson told the court that Telesford also received high praises in the report from two of his former employers, who described him as being a very courteous, punctual and hardworking individual with great potential.
He felt that the report highly commended his client for the improvements made over the years.
The lawyer noted that some members of the Beaulieu community had pointed out that the now convicted man is not known to interfere with young girls and begged the court for leniency.
According to Ferguson, it was his view that his client be sentenced under the pre-amended Criminal Code, as the incident occurred before the law was amended in September 2012.
In handing down the sentence, the Guyanese-born Justice pointed to the Victim Impact Statement, in which the victim relayed the horrifying impact that the incident has had on her.
Most significantly, the court noted that the general perception of members in the community is that the allegations were fabricated, that the victim has and still may be ostracised by community members, has lost interest in school and as a result, attempted to commit suicide on two occasions.
The female high court judge held the view that the incident was premeditated and described the now convicted man as a “cunning individual,” whose actions were “deliberate.”
Among the aggravating factors in the case was Telesford’s lack of remorse for the incident, the age of the victim and the prevalence of sexual crimes in the country.
The accused was led away from the court by Police escorts to make his way to the Richmond Hill prison.