A 53-year-old man found guilty of raping and assaulting his 11-year-old granddaughter was on Friday sentenced to 20 years in prison by the Larnaca-Famagusta court.
In a strongly worded and emotive judgement, the court stated that the grandfather became the young child’s nightmare instead of fulfilling the role of guardian and protector.
Concurrent sentences, the longest of which was for 20 years, were imposed as the grandfather was found guilty of rape, indecent assault, and attacks leading to actual bodily harm within the context of familial violence, among others.
The court stated that the attacks occurred over a period of about eight months, between December 2020 and July 2021, both within and outside the household – arguably leading to lasting and irreparable mental damage.
“[He] exploited both the innocence of her childhood and the love and trust she showed him,” the court said, adding that the perpetrator carried out vile, abnormal and hideous acts instead of playing games with her.
The court further stated that such sick and depraved attacks appear to be on the rise, leading it to impose harsh penalties to further act as a deterrent to other would-be criminals.
On June 16, the court found the perpetrator guilty on all 26 charges.
The young girl’s statements were deemed valid and trustworthy, while some minor inconsistencies and instances of memory loss were deemed entirely understandable given the traumatic nature of events.
The case came to light after the girl revealed the abuse to her mother and other relatives.
She later gave statements on three separate occasions, including to a police officer who first visited the family home after a relative reported the incident. Her statements were also taped in another session with members of the police.
The court sessions took place behind closed doors due to the girl’s age.