Friendship man handed life sentences for raping, robbing woman

A 37-year-old man who was found guilty of raping a woman at her home after threatening to harm her baby and robbing her of several pieces of jewellery has been jailed for life.

After hours of deliberations, the jury, on June 2, found Ronald Armstrong, formerly of Friendship, East Bank Demerara (EBD) guilty of sexually penetrating the 20-year-old woman against her will and robbing her on January 22, 2013.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment on both charges on Monday by Demerara Sexual Offences Court Judge Priya Sewnarine-Beharry.

The two life sentences will run concurrently. These sentences will take effect after Armstrong completes serving a four-year sentence for a previous conviction for armed robbery.

On the day in question, the woman was at home with her eight-month-old baby and sister who were sleeping.

While she was in the bathroom doing laundry, she felt a cold object by her neck and upon turning around, she came face-to-face with Armstrong, who was armed with a gun and accompanied by two other men.

Armstrong then demanded gold and other valuables from the woman while threatening to harm her baby daughter if she refused to comply.

Fearful for her life, the victim handed over several pieces of jewellery that she was wearing and some others she had stored in a cabinet.

However, despite his demands being met, Armstrong pulled the woman into a bedroom, ordered her to lie on the bed, and then raped her.

Armstrong and his accomplices, thereafter, escaped with the gold jewellery, the television sets, and laptop computers.

During his trial, Armstrong, in his defence, had denied committing the offences.

He was represented by Attorney-at-Law Everton Singh-Lammy while State Counsel Cicelia Corbin, State Counsel Caressa Henry, and State Counsel Paneeta Persaud appeared for the prosecution.