Attorney: He is a good person

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AN ATTORNEY representing a 68-year-old convicted rapist, who spent 34 years in prison for various crimes, said that “deep inside”, his client is a good person.

Subhas Panday made the submission in mitigation pleas on behalf of Allison Paul, 68, also called “Blacks”. Paul reappeared before Justice Maria Wilson in the San Fernando High Court yesterday. At a previous hearing, a jury found Paul guilty of the rape of a then 67-year-old woman as well as burglary. The offences were committed in 2006. She died last September.

Yesterday, Panday in asking the court to temper justice with mercy, referred to Paul as an abandoned child and school drop-out. During the 34 years of Paul’s life spent in prison, no one ever visited or wrote him. He always kept to himself and did not participate in any programmes offered by the prison.

Paul poses no real danger to society, “at his age” and due to health problems, Panday said. The attorney submitted to the court that Paul cannot see properly and has problems with his kidney, bladder and stomach.

In response, State prosecutor Trevor Jones said a 20-year jail term is a reasonable sentence for Paul. Rape he said leaves lifetime scars on victims. Based on his calculations, Jones said that Paul had spent a total of six years and three months in custody for the rape matters. He suggested that this period be deducted from the sentence imposed by the court.

Jones asked the court to consider aggravating factors such as the age of the victim and way the crime was committed when Paul invaded her home.

The prosecutor said before the rape, Paul choked and threatened his victim. Paul was 56 at the time of the offence. The judge adjourned the hearing to May 8.

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