Man rapes, robs woman in front of daughter, jailed 13 years

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

– File photo

A Claxton Bay man who raped a woman during a robbery in 2014 will serve another three years and five months in prison.

On March 8, Brent Bedessie was sentenced by Justice George Busby after he entered a plea deal with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Bedessie was charged with rape. He pleaded guilty on January 11 and his attorney Michelle Ali of the Public Defender’s Department made a plea in mitigation.

Bedessie received a one-third discount for his guilty plea and the nine years and three months he has spent remanded were also discounted, leaving him with three years and five months left to serve.

Busby said a sentence must deter a potential offender because of the prevalence of rape offences. He started with a 20 year prison term which increased to 21 because Bedessie had four previous convictions.

However, he said that Bedessie was a barber in prison and was allowed to cut officers’ hair meant prison officials had a level of trust in him to be assigned that duty so it augured well in terms of his rehabilitation.

On December 4, 2014, Bedessie forced his way into his victim’s home as she was opening her front door after picking up her young daughter.

He then demanded , “Where is the money and the jewel?” and she told him, “We don’t have any money and jewel.”

Bedessie then forced the woman to lie on the ground with her daughter. He put a knife on her daughter’s neck and warned them not to scream, otherwise, “he will do something about it.”

He then raped the woman in her daughter’s presence.

Bedessie ransacked the house and jewellery, money, a camera and a sim card.

He warned his victim not to tell anyone. When he left, she sought help from a neighbor and reported the rape to the Couva police.

On December 6, 2014, at the police station, Bedessie, told officers “…ah took the jewels and them and a camcorder, ah take the phone and take out the sim card and hand she back the phone look ah have the sim card in meh pocket.” He gave officers the sim card.

Busby condemned the use of violence and the fact that the mother was raped in her child’s presence which he said would have been unimaginably degrading.

The State was represented by prosecutors Ambay Ramkellawan and Samantha Maharaj.