(CMC) – A Jamaican man has been sentenced to eight and a half years in prison for raping two girls under the age of 12 and molesting a four-year-old.
Neville Lloyd Passard, 57, was convicted in October 2021 of four counts of defilement and seven counts of indecent assault.
The assault was discovered after a parent noticed a change in her young daughter’s behaviour and questioned the child.
The girl told her mother that Passard had sexual intercourse with her on two occasions when she was between seven and eight.
The child also told her mother that on one occasion Passard asked her and two other young girls, who were between the ages of four and five, to perform sexual acts on him.
Two days after an initial confrontation with the children’s parents, he was caught at the airport trying to return to Jamaica.
In handing down the judgment last week, Justice Cheryll Richards said the case is a serious one committed against children whose care Passard was entrusted with.
Under the Cayman Islands Penal Code, a person convicted of defiling a child under the age of 12 years old can be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.
When considering the length of the sentence, Richards said the location where the incidents occurred, the fact that Passard used his position of trust to instruct the young girls not to tell their parents, and the subsequent impact on the very young victims were all aggravating factors.
Those factors were balanced against Passard’s numerous medical conditions and the effect serving a sentence would have on his health, his age, and a deep concern that he might “live out his last days in prison”, his previous good character, and his efforts at rehabilitation while in custody.
When weighing the aggravating and mitigating factors, Richards concluded that an alternative sentence to a custodial sentence was not appropriate.
An original sentence of 11 years and three months was imposed, however, that was discounted by 25% for a final sentence of eight years and six months.
Since his arrest, he has spent 953 days on curfew, which resulted in a further 283 days being deducted from his sentence.
The seven months that he has spent in custody following his conviction will also be deducted from his overall prison time.