A pastor, who took advantage of a child he was reportedly counseling and had sex with her, has been found guilty and sentenced to 40 years in jail.
Andrew Hannibal, 46, of Bennett Dam, Rosignol, West Bank Berbice appeared before Justice Sandil Kissoon and a mixed jury in the Berbice High Court.
Hannibal, who reportedly has been a pastor for over 28 years, is said to be the founder of the Rosignol Deliverance Temple Church of Marcy Dam, Rosignol, West Bank Berbice. It was reported that he also founded eight other churches around the country.
The case for the Prosecution was presented by attorney at law Tuanna Hardy.
The court heard that between Friday 29th and Saturday 30th of January 2016 at Rosignol he engaged in sexual intercourse with the child.
It was reported that the man was having an affair with the child who was still at school and a member of his church.
The story unraveled when the girl’s parents reportedly missed her one night and began enquiring about her whereabouts. They went looking for her, but were unsuccessful. She was found subsequently and after being questioned, related what had happened. It was learnt that the pastor was having an affair with the child for some time.
After the matter was reported, the man was arrested and placed in custody and subsequently charged.
The prosecution had called a number of witnesses to support their story.
The case which lasted two days saw Justice Kissoon summing up the evidence for the jury and directing them to the aspects of the law.
The jury subsequently retired to consider the evidence before returning with a unanimous verdict of guilty.
Justice Kissoon then handed down the 40-year sentence.
The preliminary inquiry was conducted before Magistrate Rhondell Weaver at the Blairmont Magistrate’s Court. The matter was called three times where the committal statements were read in the magistrate’s court. The Pastor was given a chance to respond to those statements but did not.
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