A 75-year-old man sentenced to life in prison for committing incest against his daughter has been released from prison after serving almost 25 years.
High Court Judge Hayden St Clair-Douglas ordered the immediate release of the man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, as he reviewed his sentence at the Hall of Justice in Port-of-Spain, on Tuesday.
In making the decision, St Clair-Douglas ruled that the man was fit to be released as he no longer posed a threat to society.
He noted that the man, who suffers from diabetes, had several operations while in prison, including the amputation of three toes. His sight has also deteriorated significantly.
St Clair-Douglas also said the lengthy period the man spent in prison was already a deterrent to potential offenders and he had been sufficiently punished for his crimes.
He referred to the fact that prison authorities had testified that the man was a model and trusted prisoner who was an orderly and tasked with working at the living quarters occupied by the Superintendent of the prison and the Prisons Commissioner.
State prosecutors did not object to the man’s release but asked that arrangements be put in place to ensure that he is not allowed to live with young children. St Clair-Douglas agreed.
According to the evidence in the case, the man was charged with three counts of incest.
Although all the attacks occurred within a short period of each other, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) opted to prosecute the charges separately.
The man was convicted of one of the charges in April 1995 and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Two years later, he pleaded guilty to the others, was given two life sentences and ordered not to be released until after serving 20 years.
In assessing whether to release the man, St Clair-Douglas considered that had he been given remission on his sentences due to his exemplary behaviour in prison, he would have been released between 2011 and 2012.
The man was represented by Sophia Chote, SC, and Peter Carter, while Hema Soondarsingh, Danielle Thompson, and Roger Hinds represented the DPP’s Office.