Jamaica: Man Sentenced To 25 Years For Sexually Molesting Seven-Y-O Girl

(JAMAICA OBSERVER) – Unmoved by a plea for leniency, Chief Justice Bryan Sykes handed down a 25-year sentence to a man convicted of sexually molesting a seven-year-old girl left in his care.

Describing the actions of 45-year-old construction worker Andrew Hardware as a “serious violation of trust”, Sykes told him he had to face a lengthy sentence.

“You have to go to prison for a long time,” the chief justice said as he handed down the sentence in the Trelawny Circuit Court last Friday.

Hardware, who was found not guilty of rape but convicted of grievous sexual assault, will have to serve a minimum of 15 years before he becomes eligible for parole. His lawyer had asked Sykes for leniency.

During the trial, the court heard that the incident happened in 2020 while Hardware, a childhood friend of the victim’s mother, babysat as he had done on previous occasions.

The complainant told the court that her mother left her in Hardware’s care in order to take her baby sister to the hospital. She said after watching the animated show Fancy Nancy on television in the living room, she became tired, went into her parents’ room, and lay on the bed.

She added that while on the bed she saw Hardware, whom she had left preparing a meal in the kitchen, standing at the door to the bedroom, staring at her.

She claimed that the construction worker entered the room and raped her.

According to a statement by a female police constable, Hardware later admitted to sexually assaulting the child but insisted there was no act of penetration.

In court, Hardware denied the allegations made by the complainant, her mother, and the police.

However, he was found guilty of grievous sexual assault.