News

Crying taxi driver gets 21 years in jail for raping schoolgirl  

A 21-year prison sentence was Wednesday handed to 31-year-old Sahadeo Pooran, who was found guilty earlier this month of raping an underage girl. Pooran called “Omesh” had been on trial for the offence before Justice Jo-Ann Barlow and a jury at the High Court in Demerara.

According to the charge, on September 27, 2019, at an East Bank Demerara village, Pooran engaged in sexual penetration with the 12-year-old girl. Throughout the sentencing hearing, Pooran cried uncontrollably.

When asked by the judge if he had anything to say, an unremorseful Pooran replied, “I would like to say that I am very sorry. I am an innocent person over this situation. My wife getting a baby for me, and I don’t want this to be my punishment.”

State Prosecutor Nafeeza Baig asked the court to impose a sentence that reflects the serious nature and prevalence of the offence. According to the prosecutor, Pooran has expressed no remorse for his actions and still maintains his innocence.

In sentencing the rapist, the judge considered all the aggravating and mitigating circumstances. Throughout the trial, Pooran was presented by Attorney-at-Law Euclin Gomes.

According to the information, on the day in question, the child left home to go to school. She was standing on the road waiting for a taxi to get to the road head from where she would then board a minibus to get to school. Pooran drove up to the girl and offered to drop her at school for free.

Instead, Pooran took the child to his house where he held her down and raped her. In her testimony to the court, the young girl said that after she was raped she went to school and told her teacher what transpired. As a result, her parents were called in and a report was made to the Police.

Pooran was subsequently arrested and charged with the crime. Following a Preliminary Inquiry (PI) in the Magistrate’s Court, he was committed to stand trial for the offence at the Demerara Criminal Assizes.