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Judicial CP - June 2003

Trinidad Newsday, Port of Spain, 28 June 2003

Judge: Flog child offenders

By Anthea Pascall-Nicholas

"Don't mess with the nation's children," warned Justice Pamela Elder yesterday  as she imposed two life sentences on a 45-year-old man found guilty of  rape and buggery of a seven-year-old girl.

The judge also called on Parliament to extend flogging for sexual offences against children. Elder said  the sentences will run concurrently, but ordered that convict Patrick Squires, not be released before 20 years. In passing sentence, Justice Elder expressed regret that she did not have the power to order that Squires be flogged as part of his punishment and called on law makers to look at the Corporal Punishment Act to see if it could be extended to sexual matters committed against children. She went on to say that such acts of rape and buggery were every parent's nightmare: "It will cause the blood of any reasonable loving father to boil."

In this case, she noted that the parents could have been tempted to take the law into their own hands, but they very wisely turned to the court for justice. She warned: "Let this be a message to those who sexually violate girls. Don't mess with the nation's children." Squires was before the Port-of-Spain Fourth Criminal Court charged with the rape and buggery of the girl on a date unknown in August 1999. He was defended by attorney Nathaniel King while State attorney Kathy-Ann Waterman-Latchoo prosecuted. During the school vacation, the child's mother had allowed the girl to spend some time with Squires at his Chaguanas home. The child's mother had known Squires for some 12 years prior to the date of the incident and the child called him "uncle". One night, Squires came into the child's room with no clothes on and forced himself on top of her. He then raped and buggered her.

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