December 2, 2020

Suspended sentence for defilement charge on a teenager

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Justice-Quin-171x300webJustice Charles Quin handed down a two year suspended sentence to 31 year old Andrew Ebanks after he pleaded guilty to the defilement of a teenage girl he had sexually assaulted.

The court heard that the teen had hidden under a bed in a locked room to avoid Ebanks who was drunk. He had forced open the door of the room pulled the teenager from her hiding place and forced himself upon her.

Ebanks claimed the girl, who was only 13 at the time, had consented.

When he was arrested Ebanks denied raping the girl but admitted he had had sex with her.

“I didn’t mean to do it but I did,” he admitted to the arresting officers. “I couldn’t help myself. I know I did wrong,”

A social enquiry report revealed a troubling and disturbing history. Ebanks himself had been neglected and abused and had faced mental health problems. A local psychiatrist described him as a man with “many significant psychological problems”.

Even with a 40% chance of re-offending Justice Quin took into account all the mitigating factors including the mental health issues Ebanks had.

Ebanks had pleaded guilty at the outset and cooperated completely throughout the investigation with the authorities. He had no previous convictions. The judge had also taken this into account.

“I have taken into account everything that has been submitted by both counsel and I have read the social enquiry report, the victim impact report and the medical reports relating to the defendant,” the Judge said in his ruling. “What is of utmost importance is that the court must endeavour to create the circumstance to try to ensure that the defendant does not ever commit or even contemplates committing any such offence again.”

Justice Quin did note the trauma the teenage girl had suffered and the impact upon her family saying it was a serious offence and would normally attract a custodial sentence. However, Ebanks had already served eight months on remand and since his release he had complied with all of his bail conditions. He had been commended by his probation officer and “having a full time job and a family to support it was important that the defendant continue to provide for his dependents,” the judge said.

Justice Quin ordered the two years he imposed to be suspended and, invoking the alternative sentencing law Ebanks was to be placed under the supervision of the Department of Community and Rehabilitation for two years. Ebanks was also ordered to attend psychiatric counselling.

 

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