By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE Court of Appeal yesterday gave more time to a lawyer to familiarise himself with his client’s case as the defendant contests a conviction for forcing a nine-year-old girl to perform oral sex on him.
However, 65-year-old Edward Butler and his lawyer Stanley Rolle must first satisfy the court that an extension of time should be granted for Butler’s appeal to be heard.
Butler, upon being convicted last May of unlawful sexual intercourse, was sentenced to 16 years’ imprisonment for forcing the victim to perform oral sex on him on three occasions.
However, he did not appeal the conviction and sentence within the 21-day period provided by law.
Rolle claimed that his client’s late filing of appeal was because Butler was not given an appeal form when he was incarcerated.
The court told the lawyer to be prepared to argue the substantive appeal on October 9 if the court granted the extension.
Butler throughout his trial denied having sex with the girl, now a teenager, between November 9, 2009, and January 8, 2010.
However, on May 30, 2013, while acquitted of a pornography charge, he was found guilty of having unlawful sexual intercourse and required medical attention after the 6-3 guilty verdict was announced.
His sentencing was deferred to July 26 when a probation report was presented to the court and counsel made submissions. The judge said she would hand down her ruling on August 14, which she did in a six-page document.
The judge noted that while Butler had not been convicted of any criminal offences since 1988, the aggravating factors of the case outweighed the lone mitigating factor.
The first aggravating factor was his age at the time of the offence and the second was that “the victim was nine years of age at the time of the incident and may suffer from long term and/or permanent damage as a result of the experience”.
While noting that the convict knew the complainant and her family, the judge also considered his previous conviction for a similar offence and that “Butler has not shown remorse”.
Justice Watkins sentenced Butler to 16 years at Her Majesty’s Prison and noted that his term took effect from the date of conviction.