Wednesday 1 April, 2020

Man gets five years for indecent assault of 7-year-old

Sexually-related offences against children "strike at the core of our identity as a society and offend against the public conscience".

This statement was made yesterday as a High Court judge sentenced a 48-year-old man to five years in prison for the indecent assault of a seven-year-old girl, now age 9. The incident occurred on September 1, 2015.

Joseph Augustine Cummins had the sentence handed down to him in the No. 2 Supreme Court today. He had pleaded guilty to the offence in February this year.

"The negative impact on this child cannot be quantified and could well last a lifetime. Certainly, nothing will erase the incident from her memory. As a child she was especially vulnerable," Justice Michelle Weekes said.

Cummins was given a discount of one year for mitigating factors in the case, leaving a four-year term. After his time on remand was deducted, he will now spend one year, 315 days in jail.

The victim was a primary school student who was staying with her grandmother at the time of the incident. Cummins was a tenant at the grandmother's house.

While the girl was playing near Cummins' apartment he pulled her through a window. He then undressed and indecently assaulted the girl, who described the encounter as painful. It was only when her grandmother called that Cummins stopped and allowed the girl to get dressed. He assisted her back through the window.

When the girl returned to her grandmother she was questioned about her whereabouts. The victim recounted all that had occurred, saying that she knew it was wrong because of her mother's warnings. She said her mother had advised her against allowing anyone to fondle or touch her private parts.

The young child said it was not the first time such an assault had occurred but said she was scared to report it.

When police arrested Cummins he showed them where he said he and the victim "made love".

"Let me tell you the truth, that happened by accident that whole week I did seeing a funny vision in my sleep and I was just playing wid she and it got out of control," he told the officers.

Following his release, Cummins, a non-national, will be deported.

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