(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) – THE STATE has asked the court to sentence a man found guilty of raping a 67-year-old woman to a jail term of 20 years.
Prosecutor Trevor Jones said this was a reasonable sentence for Allison Paul, 68, who is also known as Allison Ramsingh and Blacks.
The victim died last September at the age of 77 years, months before a jury found Paul guilty of raping her and burglary with intent to rape. The acts were committed at her home in 2006.
The matters were heard before Justice Maria Wilson on the San Fernando Third Criminal court on Thursday.
In his mitigation, defence attorney Subhas Panday said that “deep inside he is not that evil person that the records (submitted to the court on Paul) reveal.”
He said Paul’s “environment moulded him to cause him to be where he is today.” Panday said Paul’s mother died when he was six months old and he never even saw a picture of her. At the eight years old, Paul dropped out of school and began fishing.
The defence attorney said Paul was an abandoned child, a child who faced racial slurs because his ethnicity was mixed and he also could not cope with life. At the age of 17, Panday said, Paul’s life spiralled downwards. He said his client spent 34 years of his 68 years of life in prison. During the years of his incarceration, he had no visits, did not receive a letter or write anyone and was a non-participant in prison activities.
Panday said his client had poor eyesight and kidney, bladder and stomach problems. He asked the court to temper justice with mercy when passing sentence on Paul.
Jones however said the starting point for sentence should be 30 years and that a 20 year sentence was “very reasonable.” He outlined points he considered as aggravating including that the victim was 67 years old at the time, that she was choked and threatened, and her home was invaded before she was raped.
The victim’s deposition was read to the court during the trial which concluded with the guilty verdicts last month. Her daughter also gave evidence before the court and Jones said it was clear that she was still traumatized.
Jones also said that Paul was aggressive in court and that this was the real propensity of Allison Paul.
He noted the age of the matter and the offender as mitigating factors but said that Paul escaped custody while he was incarcerated and absconded for months before he was rearrested. He also believed that Paul’s age had little weight as he was younger and stronger when the offence was committed. He was then 56 years old.
He calculated Paul had already spent six years and three months in custody for this matter. This will have to be deducted from the sentence imposed by the court. The matter as adjourned to May 8.
The prosecution’s case was that on June 1 2006, the victim was asleep at her southern home when around 2.30 a.m. she heard a loud noise. She then felt a person grab her by the neck. Paul, who used to live near the woman’s home for a year and entered the house by removing panes from the window, threatened to kill her if she made any noises. Paul raped her, choking the woman while the act was being committed. He then told her he wanted to talk to her and asked her for $450 to fix his car.
The jury also heard evidence from a woman who Paul is charged with raping in 2001. She said she was also choked and Paul told her that he wanted to speak to her after the act.
This woman testified before the jury that she was travelling in a maxi taxi and after complaining that the drunk conductor was harassing her, the female driver of the maxi put her out the vehicle, into the rain. The woman who was 40 years at the time, stopped a private for hire car driven by Paul.
During the trip a friend entered. He paid for her and kissed her on her cheek as he reached his destination. The woman asked that Paul drop her home but instead he took her to an abandoned street where he raped her. He also choked her during the act and threatened to kill her. Paul then told her he wanted to talk to her. After insisting that he drop her home, the woman was able to jump out of the car as it slowed down near a traffic light.
Attorney Anslem Leander appeared alongside Jones in the matters. Attorney Khaliffa Pahalwan represented Paul along with Panday.