Ex-fireman gets life

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Deon Aaron being escorted to jail on Thursday (Photo by Michel Outridge)

– for raping toddler two years ago

A SEEMINGLY calm Deon Aaron, 53, was on Thursday morning sentenced to life imprisonment by Justice Jo-Ann Barlow for the rape of a three-year-old child back in 2016.

Aaron was on October 24, 2018, unanimously found guilty by a mixed 12-member jury following hours of deliberations for the rape of a girl child under age 16, between March 1 and October 20, 2016.

The accused reportedly used his fingers to rape the victim, who was three years old at the time the act was alleged to have been committed.
The sentence was imposed by the trial judge in the Sexual Offences Court of the Demerara High Court.

Aaron, an ex-cop, fireman and security guard, will be eligible for parole after serving 20 years.

In handing down the sentence, Justice Barlow told the packed courtroom that having listened to the probation report and the victim’s impact statement, she came to the conclusion that the convict was not at a place where he accepted his responsibility for what he did.

She also spoke of his seeming lack of remorse in spite of the testimony of the child, who is now five years old and who was entrusted in his care by her mother.

Justice Barlow also took into consideration the aggravating circumstances, and imposed the maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Aaron, however, maintained his innocence on Thursday when he was asked whether he had anything to say.

In his plea of mitigation, Aaron’s lawyer contended that the probation report was in his client’s favour, as it was found that he’d never abused any of the children who were left in his care before.

But according to the victim in her impact statement, which she herself penned but was read in court by Blossom Inc. Counsellor Renasha Callendar:
“What Uncle Aaron did to me made me sad; he’s a bad man and what he did to me made me cry. And I was hurt, and I cannot forgive him.”

In her probation report, Sueanna Noble told the court that residents of the villages in which the convict resided said it was out of character for him to do such a thing, since he was known to them to be a firm disciplinarian and the breadwinner of his family.

Aaron, she said, was not just father, but a grandfather as well, and comes from a close-knit family setting. He also had the benefit of both a sound primary and secondary education, and held several jobs.