AN ELECTRICIAN who was sentenced to 20 years hard labour for raping a female executive assistant, had his sentence cut in half by the Court of Appeal yesterday.
The case also took the shortest, record breaking period of time-three months and three weeks- to reach the Court of Appeal, be heard and determined.
The Court of Appeal comprising Chief Justice Michael de Ia Bastide, Justice Roger Hamel- Smith and Justice Lloyd Gopeesingh, agreed that the 20 year sentence imposed on Dion Julien, 31 of Carenage, should be reduced to 10 years.
Noting that this trial ended on March 25, 1996, and the appeal was heard and determined just three months and about three week later, CJ de Ia Bastide said: “This shows what the system is capable of in terms of speeding up bearings of appeal.”
The sentence was imposed on Julien on March 25, 1996 by Justice Melville Baird, after a Port-of-Spain jury found him guilty of the rape on the night of June 4, 1988.
In reducing the sentence the court noted that there are varying aggravating factors in rape which will determine the degree of punishment, but noted that the court must pay regard to the acts of the accused immediately after the rape in that he did not abandon the victim but still offered to take her home.
It is clear after his abominable act he showed some concern, the CJ noted. According to the evidence Julien and the woman knew each other as neighbours for over six years. On the night of the incident they met at a party in Carenage and the woman asked Julien to walk her home.
On the way the woman went to relieve herself in an outhouse when Julien attacked her.
During the struggle she fell, hit her head and was knocked out. While unconscious Julien raped her.