Appeal Court upholds 7-year jail time for pensioner who sexually assaulted young girl

The seven years sentence imposed on Kenrick Morrison who was found guilty back in 2015 of sexually assaulted a girl under the age of five, was on Wednesday upheld by the Court of Appeal.  Morrison is said to be in his late 70s.

Following a trial before Justice Jo-Ann Barlow, a 12-member jury convicted him of the offence. He was subsequently sentenced to seven years imprisonment by the trial judge. Displeased with the decision of the trial court, Morrison, who was placed released on bail in 2017, through his lawyer Mark Conway filed an appeal against his conviction.

Among other things, Conway argued that the verdict of the jury was unreasonable and cannot be supported by the evidence and that the trial judge failed to address the jury as it relates to the inconsistencies in the evidence of the victim and her mother.

Both of the aforementioned grounds were dismissed by the Appeal Court. In delivering the decision of the Court, Chancellor of the Judiciary Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards held that the trial judge told the jurors of their role, and also urged them to scrutinize the evidence and told them that they have to be satisfied based on the evidence that Morrison committed the offence.

Moreover, the Chancellor noted that the trial judge also put Morrison’s defence to the jury for consideration. In this regard, the Appeal Court held that the trial judge provided the jury with the required assistance to deal with inconsistencies in the evidence.

“The verdict of the jury was not ambiguous; it was not unreasonable. It was supported having regard to the evidence. This appeal is dismissed. The sentence imposed by the trial judge is affirmed,” Justice Cummings-Edwards noted.

Given that Morrison was incarcerated for approximately two years before he was granted bail pending appeal, the Appeal Court deducted this time from his initial sentence. The convict was ordered to surrender to the authorities to complete serving his sentence.

According to the facts of the case, on February 13, 2013, the girl who was under five years, left her mother’s home to go to her grandmother’s home to stitch her school bag. While on her way, she met Morrison, who is her grandmother’s fiancé. The young girl asked Morrison if her grandmother was at home, and he told her that she had gone to the hospital.

When the little girl arrived at her grandmother’s home, Morrison held her down, dragged her inside of the house, and began to rub her shoulders. He then stuck his tongue inside of her mouth and rubbed her vagina. The young girl told Morrison to stop, and she managed to break free from him and ran out of the house. She then went home and told her mother of what had transpired.