It was a bitter blow for the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) as a 32-year old Constable, Anderson Williams was Monday sentenced to 15 years and six (6) months imprisonment for the offence of rape against a 27-year-old woman on August 1, 2013.
The sentence was handed down by female High Court Judge, Justice Paula Gilford, at the St. George’s No. 1 High Court on St. John’s Street.
Clad in a short sleeve white dress shirt and hunter green coloured dress pants, Williams, who has been a police officer for approximately 10 years, stood in the prisoner’s dock and shook his head as the sentencing judge read out the facts of the case before sentencing him.
The convicted man, who was represented by Attorney-at-Law, George Prime, did not deny having sexual intercourse with the young lady but contended that it was consensual throughout the trial which lasted for approximately one week.
PC Williams was convicted of Rape in early December following a jury trial but was brought back to court for sentencing.
The 9-member jury panel consisting of two (2) women and seven (7) men found the police officer guilty of raping the young lady, while she visited him at his home in Beaulieu, St. George.
According to Crown Counsel, Brendon La Touche, who prosecuted the matter against the policeman, the doctor’s evidence, which spoke to “injuries to the woman’s wrist and vagina, which in the doctors words was as a result of a blunt object due to forceful penetration with a penis, was very critical in this matter.”
The victim claimed that she first met Williams at the Fire Station on the Carenage in March 2013 and they exchanged numbers after he offered to help her find a job.
He reportedly called her multiple times after they met but provided no information on the job but consistently tried to convince her to go out with him. She told the court that a couple of days prior to the commission of the offence, Williams called her again offering some children’s clothing, which were left behind by his wife and three (3) children, who had relocated to neighboring Trinidad and Tobago.
It is believed that at the time of the incident the now convicted police officer was in the process of relocating to Trinidad to be with his family.
Williams was a 28-year-old fireman attached to the Fire Station on The Carenage in St. George’s at the time of his arrest.
During the sentencing hearing, Attorney Prime called the step mother of the now convicted man, along with his close friend Jason Skeete, as two (2) character witnesses to give evidence to the court on behalf of the convicted rapist.
Notwithstanding the seriousness of the offence, which carries a maximum penalty of 30 years imprisonment, Attorney Prime, in mitigating the case, urged the court to exercise leniency, considering his personal circumstances and how the sentence imposed would affect his wife, three (3) biological children and stepson.
However, the court denied this request, expressing the view that “the convicted man should have known that this act would have impacted his family.”
In handing down the sentence, Justice Gilford noted the “increase in the reporting of sex crimes” in recent times adding that because Williams was a police officer, he was expected to conduct himself in a more appropriate manner.
“Should you ever find yourself in another situation (like this) you should turn away and run,” the female judge told PC Williams.
She also pointed out that the victim was “emotionally and psychologically traumatised by the incident” and has even “attempted to take her own life on two (2) occasions.”
As part of the sentence handed down, the former police officer was ordered to get involved in counseling programmes in prison.