“predator”: Paul Vincent, right, leaves the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court yesterday after he was sentenced to eight years in jail on charges of indecent assault and assault with intent to rob. —Photo: TREVOR WATSON

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Double murder suspect gets 8 years for ‘vulgar attack’

By Nikita Braxton-Benjamin nikita.braxton@trinidadexpress.com

PAUL Vincent, the man charged with the 2005 murders of 16-year-old Pixie Lakhan and her aunt, was yesterday sentenced to eight years in prison for a “vulgar attack” on a woman seven years ago.
“Society needs to protect our women and protect our children.You have made yourself one of these predators in society,” Justice Malcolm Holdip told Vincent.
Two weeks ago, Vincent, of Siparia, was found guilty of indecent assault and assault with intent to rob a mother of two.
It was the State’s case that on April 16, 2005, the victim was walking home when Vincent held her in a bear-hug and choked her.
Vincent asked the woman for money, and she said she had $10.
When he reached for the bag, the two struggled and fell off a precipice and into an area strewn with garbage. The woman testified that she was asked by Vincent about her address and if she was a virgin or had any diseases.
She was told to remove her clothing and screamed and prayed during the assault but was told to “shut up”. When someone came to her rescue, Vincent ran.
Vincent testified in the case, claiming he was at a bar during the time the woman said he attacked her.
However, the victim, who suffered injuries to her right shoulder and bruises to her face, pointed him out in an identification parade days after the attack.
Defence attorney Michael Rooplal yesterday said his client was remorseful and willing to enrol in any programme in prison that deals with sexual offences.
He said while Vincent’s crimes were violent, no weapon was seen by the victim or had been found after the attack.
He said Vincent, 33, the father of an 11-year-old girl, was in a common-law relationship and had two previous convictions.
In 1997, Vincent, a mason, was sent to a home for juveniles for three years on the charge of larceny of person.
In 2002, he served three years with hard labour for indecent assault.
Rooplal said his client also had two pending murder charges.
State attorney Angelica Teelucksingh told the court this was Vincent’s second offence for indecent assault, and he therefore faced a maximum sentence of ten years.
He also faced a maximum sentence of five years on the assault with intent to rob charge.
Holdip said attacks by males on females were prevalent in society and was an indication of the level of anger.
“You tried to use your power to overcome the (victim). You threatened to kill her if she didn’t hush her mouth.... You tried to strangle her.... She displayed a presence of mind in the face of this vulgar attack on her,” Holdip said.
He sentenced Vincent to three years hard labour for the charge of assault with intent to rob and five years hard labour for indecently assaulting the woman.
Holdip said he took into account that Vincent had been in custody since being charged in 2005.
The sentences are to run concurrently, Vincent will serve five years on these charges.
The judge ordered that Vincent enrol in the anger management programme at the prison and any programme with regard to sexual offences offered at the institution.
The State was also represented by Stacy Lalloo-Chung at yesterday’s sentencing.
Vincent has been committed to stand trial for the murders of Pixie Lakhan and her aunt Taramatie Toolsie in 2005.
These cases are expected to be called in the High Court before the end of the year.
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