Essequibo rapist gets 25 years
There was wailing and hollering on Thursday in the Suddie High court after Justice Priya Sewnarine-Beharry sentenced 47-year-old, Leroy Smith, to 25 years’ imprisonment for raping his 63-year-old neighbour in February 2015. Smith was also implicated in the rape of a 63-year-old woman of Richmond Housing Scheme, in April 2015. He was charged in July of the said year. The case which first began in the magistrate court was later thrown over to the high court and that was where Smith was able to obtain bail after an appeal was granted by a judge in the high court. That bail was granted in the amount of $400,000 thousand dollars. On Thursday jurors returned a guilty verdict. Similarly, after Thursday’s sentencing, Smith’s two lawyers indicated to justice Sewnarine-Beharry that they had intentions of appealing the case and sought bail, but their request was denied. At the sentencing, Smith wailed and collapsed in the dock after learning of his sentencing. Smith’s wife and one of his neighbours were present in court. A medical report which was tendered in court suggested that the victim had abrasions to her neck, chest and vagina. The police said that Smith raped the woman on April 20, 2015, at her Richmond, Essequibo resident. The police had also charged Smith with burglary but after advice was sought, that charge was dropped. Previously, a mentally challenged woman had accused him of raping her. Smith has always maintained his innocence.