Updated: May 27, 2022
Micah Williams, who is presently serving two life sentences for raping an 8-year-old girl, has moved to the Court of Appeal, seeking to overturn his conviction and sentences.
Williams, a trade unionist, was found guilty of penetrating the child both vaginally and anally sometime between January 1 and December 31, 2016. He was also found guilty of sodomising the child on January 2, 2017.
On April 24, 2018, Justice Jo-Ann Barlow, who presided over the case at the High Court, handed Williams two life sentences – one for each offence committed and ordered that they run concurrently.
Justice Barlow ordered that a minimum of 20 years be served before the convict becomes eligible for parole and, in the same breath, requested that he undergo counselling tailored for sex offenders.
In her sentencing remarks, the High Court Judge said that notwithstanding his lawyer’s plea for leniency, the convict himself expressed no remorse for his actions.
Justice Barlow reprimanded the convict for shifting the blame on a 14-year-old boy while noting the doctor’s findings of the severe damage caused to the young girl’s body.
She told Williams that though he fought for the rights of others, he violated the trust the child would have reposed in him.
“I find it strange this would be the position of the jury,” Williams said when given a chance to speak.
Through his lawyers, Nigel Hughes and Ronald Daniels, the convict moved to the Court of Appeal, arguing that the trial Judge did not somewhat put his defence to the jury.
Daniels contended that his client was not the one who had abused the girl while explaining that the child was “guided” to implicate his client to cover up for a 14-year-old boy.
The lawyers are also contending that the sentences are manifestly excessive and not in keeping with the established sentencing guidelines.
In responding to the defence, Senior State Counsel Natasha Backer said that the trial Judge “more than sufficiently” put Williams’s defence to the jury.
“Here, the Judge would have reminded the jury about the alleged conspiracy that [Williams] was relying on as the crux of his defence. The trial judge reminded the jury of [Williams’s] insistence that it was not he who would have committed the acts in question.”
The appeal will be heard by Chancellor of the Judiciary, Yonette Cummings-Edwards, and Justices of Appeal, Dawn Gregory, and Rishi Persaud. The Appellate Court has reserved its judgment in the matter.