UPDATE: Man gets 35 years for unlawful sex with eight-year-old; you deserve no mercy judge says

courtHigh Court Judge, Errol Thomas, has slammed the behavior of 51-year-old, Joseph Senhouse of Vieille Case and sentenced him to 35 years jail after he was found guilty on three counts of unlawful sex with an 8-year-old girl in 2013.

He also ruled that Senhouse, because of his actions and behaviour, should be seen by consultant psychiatric Dr. Griffin Benjamin.

Senhouse, who wept when he was sentenced on Friday, was found guilty of buggery, unlawful sexual intercourse and indecent assault on the girl, then aged 8 years and 6 months, in Penville.

According to some of the facts of the case, Senhouse, who was in a relationship with the child’s mother, had anal sex with the child on three occasions and vaginal sex, about five times. He also told her “not to tell” and gave her fruits (mangoes) and on one occasion, two dollars and another time, five dollars.

In mitigation, Senhouse’s lawyer, Dawn Yearwood Stewart, told the court that she fully accepts the social inquiry report and its findings made on her client. She said he had used “no violence in his actions” and as a child, he had experienced physical abuse at the hands of his mother who kicked him out of her house at the age of 12 and left to fend for himself.

She called on the court to “temper justice with mercy”.

“Give him an opportunity to return to society and don’t shut the door and throw the keys away,” she said.

Before handing down the sentence, Justice Thomas commended the probation officers for their “usual prompt and thorough reports.”

He said that based on the report, the child suffered from “anxiety, fear, stigmatization, ridicule from peers and her social life have been adversely affected.”

Among the aggravating factors of the case, he said, was the fact that the child was eight years old at the time of the incident and weighed about 70 pounds and that Senhouse was in a prior relationship with her mom.

“You must be characterized as a man without a conscience and lacking compassion and humanity,” Thomas told Senhouse. “Dominica needs to be protected from people of your ilk, you have no compassion.”

He also commented that Senhouse is no stranger to the court since he was convicted and jailed for 15 years in 1997 for a sexual offense committed on a minor.

“The 15 years was no deterrent to you, you don’t care, you deserve no mercy,” Justice Thomas said.

On the charge of buggery, he received 25 years; on the charge of unlawful sexual intercourse 25 years. Both sentences are to run concurrently.

On the charge of indecent assault, Senhouse received 10 years to run consecutively.

The maximum sentence in Dominica for buggery is 25 years, unlawful sexual intercourse 25 years and indecent assault 10 years.

The State was represented by attorneys attached to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP,) Fernillia Felix and Sherma Dyrample.

Disclaimer: The comments on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of DominicaNewsOnline.com/Duravision Inc. All comments are approved by DominicaNewsOnline.com before they are posted. We never censor based on political or ideological points of view, but we do try to maintain a sensible balance between free speech and responsible moderating.

We will delete comments that:

  • violate or infringe the rights of any person, are defamatory or harassing or include personal attacks
  • a reasonable person would consider abusive or profane
  • contain material which violates or encourages others to violate any applicable law
  • promote hatred of any kind
  • refer to people arrested or charged with a crime as though they had been found guilty
  • contain links to "chain letters", pornographic or obscene movies or graphic images
  • are excessively long and off-topic

See our full comment/user policy/agreement.


    October 28, 2016

    The law should be having sex with minor lifetime

  2. Baron George-Blanchard
    December 15, 2015

    Just wondering. The man was sentenced for ‘unlawful’ sex with an 8 year old.

    Tell me, you lawyers out there, when can it be ‘lawful’ for a man to have sex with an 8 year old?

  3. Well!
    December 13, 2015

    Dawn Yearwood Stewart asked for mitigating circumstances as the pervert did not use violence!!!! Is she for real!!!!!! The act of rape IS violence!!!!!!!!!

    Regardless of any professionalism or her ‘duty’ to her client, shame on Ms Stewart to even attempt to argue for leniency on behalf of this devil’s spawn, who had already served 17yrs or so for a similar offence, to be released on our children yet again. Thank God for the Judge.

    • Matthew A.
      March 19, 2017

      The job of any barrister is to work in the best interest of her client. If they don’t wouldn’t that be malfeasance on her part?

      You must be pretty sure this is NOT their point of view, but it was probably the only defence for her client. Unfortunately, every story has two sides and so, you should “judge slowly” the acts of the barrister.

      Even muttering the words probably made her nauseated.

  4. December 13, 2015

    “You must be characterized as a man without a conscience and lacking compassion and humanity,”–News Article

    That statement above is a “definite truth”; no question about it!

    The majority of mankind are “conscience dead” this means that God is not in them, and so they are walking this world without the guidance and teaching of Love–and yet Love is the Life of God in us, when He is connected to us, through conscience, by the Power of Holy Spirit.

    That is the reason for strife, vile, discord, and disdain in this world. Man is walking conscience dead without the Life of God in him, he remains conformed to his attitude and conducts of darkness, futility, and death–it is not only a few; as the prophet Isaiah said:

    “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have gone, each one to his own ways”. Without the mercy and compassion in God’s Love, the human species would not be in existence today–that is a fact we all need to know; so be thankful to God.

  5. Dominican In T.O
    December 13, 2015

    Finally a Judge with some balls, or just one that cant be bought. Justice has been served.

  6. Face the Facts
    December 13, 2015

    Think of the poor child and what she endured from that man and her feeling. I expect that she received counseling and it is continuing.
    This is not something that she will ever forget for the rest of her life. It may affect her relationship with the male gender. One day she may get married and have children. It may affect her marriage and children.
    This is why someone as that man should be severely punished and remain in prison for the rest of his life. It is too bad there is no death penalty for such people, what he did to that little girl.
    We hope there will be no appeal and decrease of this sentence.

    Matthew 18:6 – Temptations to Sin – Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone around his neck and to be drown in the depths of the sea. . .

    This is how Our Lord feels about such types, considering how their actions could affect children for the rest of their life.

  7. Messenger
    December 12, 2015

    The sentence here should have been 60yrs (25+25+10) in addition to 60 lashes per day. That would be the appropriate punishment for this kind of crime.

  8. Jaime Lewis
    December 12, 2015

    Let us not stop there. We need a registry of sex offenders. This man was in prison for 15 years for a similar offense, and 1 year after being released he committed similar offenses on a minor. A registry would have prevented him from being in the presence of children; his name would have been made public, and everyone in the community would have been on the lookout. He would have had to report to a parole officer every week, and he would have been receiving counseling for sex offenders on a weekly if not daily basis.
    While we can rejoice at the hefty sentence handed down by the courts, we must not rest on our laurels. We must continue the fight. There are many other pedophiles destroying our children.
    We need sex education from preschool; we need to begin teaching our children about safe relationships; we need to teach respect for ourselves and for others.
    Let us not forget that sexual abuse of minors is on the increase in our country. We must get rid of it before it’s too late.

  9. enough is enough
    December 12, 2015

    I read that I and am soooooooo pissed off!!!!!! just the thought of this man doing that to a helpless child. my God what has gotten into people? where was this little girl mother? The child needs to be taken away from that mother. I would jail that mother too. Come on, every day on the news you hearing of child molestation and it getting worst! Man doing all kinds of nasty acts on those little children and some mothers not taking heed and just leaving your little boys and girls with all kinds of nasty men!

  10. Tina Alexander
    December 12, 2015

    Of course the NGO COalition welcomes serious sentencing for serious crimes. However, I would like to know how old the child is now? as very often these cases take an innordinate length of time to traverse through the system of preliminary Inquiry and endless adjournements before they get before the learned Judge and Jury. I would like to know how many times this child had to go to court and give evidence in person; how many times she was cross examined by an aggressive defence lawyer suggesting she was a liar or did something to provoke her attackers behaviour; how many times she had to come and sit outside the court being stared at by the perpetrator out on bail or his supporters only to be told the case was adjourned because the Police weren’t ready or someone had lost something. I would like our democratic representatives to remember this case when they come to vote on introducing a Sexual Offenders list, that those convicted of sexually abusing children go on FOR LIFE.

  11. Never shameful
    December 12, 2015

    Yah man bang di hammer . Life under di jail for di rapist ..JAIL HIM..
    U will not return to get the chance to touch (RAPE) another child. JAIL HIM

  12. Dominica Progressive Party
    December 12, 2015

    When I create a new party in Dominica and run for office, we will amend this constitution and pass laws so tough it will make these pedophiles head spin.

    I believe these people should be put to sleep by a lethal injection, it’s the human rights issue that would deter such a venture thus 50 years to life.

    They would be placed in a special wing in the prison for case studies because these people are really sick and evil – imagine we have people convicted of bestiality and pedophilia, they need to be in one special wing and not among the rest of the prison population.

  13. Cyrique
    December 12, 2015

    35 years is NOT ENOUGH!! This man should have been jailed for life !!! He has destroyed that little girl’s life and that is a life sentence!! I have granddaughters one of them is 8 years old !! Need I say more? He’d be lucky if the Police got him first!!! This attack on that poor child must have been premeditated and he knew what he was doing. Let this 35 years be a warning to other enviols !!! Leave our children alone!!!

  14. Expose him
    December 12, 2015

    Where is his picture DNO….? Stop hiding these people excuse me ANIMALS!!!

  15. End of time
    December 11, 2015

    DNO…this is not responsible reporting. You could spare us the details and the identity of the child. Geez… By saying is hi step-child you have told the world exactly who that poor child is. Yes Dominica is small an many people already know.. but you should not be helping in that area. Shame on you.

  16. forreal
    December 11, 2015

    them kinda man need street justice,stone his @ss to death.

  17. tweety
    December 11, 2015

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D I am sooooooooooooooo happy I am jumping out of my seat, Finally, thank you judge, thank you. To the little girl I say hats off for being brave and not backing down , because in some cases the young girls get threatened, and they get scared and they some times change the story and then the animal gets lose. But you my dear is and example for the others and I pry that they all get what they deserve. My Christmas make.

  18. BEB
    December 11, 2015

    That guy came from jail for serving a term for sexual offences, now that woman who picked him up as a lover didn’t know what she places herself into?Putting her young daughter at risk. He started eating the head then continued to the tail, mister is a sick psychopath, I hope he enjoys his time in prison. I think 35 yrs. is reasonable, I hope that he remains the whole 35 yrs. in the slammer as he got two 25 yrs. to run concurrently so there’s no reason for deduction in the years to be spent

  19. mine
    December 11, 2015

    Well maybe he took the time as a joke, but this time he got exactly what he deserved. He want to put the blame on his deceased mom Joseph we all got beatings so leave this issue alone. I hope that this child get good counselling.

  20. dady b
    December 11, 2015

    the mp have made no comments as to what harpening to the children on dominica what a sham. Oue children under body gards in newyork so we donut care but remember god is good all the time and all the tine god is good

  21. Domigue fami wagea
    December 11, 2015

    This judge has been very lenient in the past on thieves, and home brake ins it is good to see that he has grown some wabos .

  22. Luna
    December 11, 2015

    This is so sic to read it is making my stomach sic I just want to throw up
    He should get life if the girl has an uncle he should know what to him

  23. Roseau River
    December 11, 2015

    Excellent. The citizens of this nation and the judicial system is sending the right message. This type of behavior will not be tolerated in a civilized society.

  24. On Time
    December 11, 2015

    Eyyyyy Jesus! SMH! Heavens knows if I could, I would take a hot iron the crush that man penis with it. He would be left with nothing, not even to pee.

  25. December 11, 2015

    I don’t know how these lawyers who defend those kind of people sleep at nights. He has been put away but the poor child have to live with the consequences. If she doesn’t get help her life is ruin. Parents please protect your children as much as possible don’t just let go your children for other men thinking that they wont disrespect them. Most of these cases are done by men who are close to the families. Lord Have Mercy On Our Souls.

  26. Ammo
    December 11, 2015

    This child’s life has been damaged by that pedophile. I believe the mother is partly to blame too!! She did not protect her little girl!! Why would a mother want to be in a relationship with that animal after he had been released from prison? I am so disgusted about this. I hope they shove a big broomstick (sadly, he might enjoy it) up his ‘wherethesundon’[email protected]…. :(

    • On Time
      December 11, 2015

      How about a hot piece of iron instead of a broomstick?

    • Tell the Facts
      December 13, 2015

      You know the saying, these things have their people. Was she aware of his first prison sentence for similar actions?
      When prisoners leave prison they will find some partner to associate with. This is worldwide; not only in Dominica.
      The women who know they were imprisoned for whatever crime are bold to welcome them and accept them into their life especially if they have children. They are also entertaining abuse and violence. It could also cost them their life. Some people do not know how to run for their life and stay away from such characters. Be friendly or civilized. Avoid close companionship with such people.

  27. Marigotian
    December 11, 2015

    There is no appeal process in any hold sex abuse cases none what so ever. The only good thing that came out of DA for fhe year.

    • Tell the Facts
      December 13, 2015

      What about the man who was sent to some years in prison for sexual abuse with a child and appealed to a higher Court? Recently his sentence was decreased.

  28. views expreesed
    December 11, 2015

    Well to all those fighting hard over the years for the protection of Justice hip hip hooray to you al on this feat. Well done Francis Joseph. Welfare Division, NGO Coalition, Social Centre, DOMNIK Save, philanthropist, Inspector Weekes and Mrs Weekes, DNCW, advocates etc and other NGO`s, Matt and Q95…etc etc….. too numerous to mention

    Please continue the good work……soldier on

    • December 11, 2015

      The war against sexual child abuse is complex. For this reason it must be fought on many fronts.

      We have the same problem here in Canada. I faced it when I worked as a paid pastoral counselor at a large health center in Toronto. One client was referred to me by a court, and I reported to his court appointed social worker. Others came in before their problem became a legal matter.

      I just want to express my appreciation for all of the above dedicated individuals who worked independently, or in an NGO, or in the court system, or as part of the government to gain the ground you have gained in Dominica against the monster, the demonic beast of sexual child abuse. There is work yet to be done but you are the hope for change and you CAN make a difference :!:

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist. (Pastoral Counselor Certificate)

        December 14, 2015

        y u always have to put as long Comment that doesnt finish??

  29. wisewoman
    December 11, 2015

    “On the charge of buggery, he received 25 years; on the charge of unlawful sexual intercourse 25 years. Both sentences are to run consecutively.”
    If the sentence was served as stated above, he would serve 25+25+10 for a total of 60 years.
    Is he serving concurrent sentences, which means at the same time. Therefore he would serve 35 years.
    60 years is what the bastard deserves!

    • Tell the Facts
      December 13, 2015

      If he survives those years in prison, he will come out a very old man. I hope by then he will be too weak to as much as look at a little girl. :

  30. Leah Remy
    December 11, 2015


    That mother of that child aself didn’t do her homework before she entered a relationship with mister? So she didn’t realize he was a convicted pedophile and he just come after her with de intention of abusing her child?

    Some women need to put on their thinking cap too wi….smh.

    • Face the Facts
      December 13, 2015

      You will be surprised how many mothers are lax with their little girls. Some are also encouraging. Not only in Dominica,

  31. toneh
    December 11, 2015

    Give him a chance to return to society?! That lawyer too wicked! Let me hear u say that if it was your child. Say way mayschastay!!!

    • toneh
      December 11, 2015


      • respect
        December 13, 2015

        toneh i so pissed I misread ur comment and my phone is small lol. so that comment not for u sorry. thumbs up to ur comment i shake ur big toe

    • December 11, 2015

      Return to society?

      This man has already done 15 years for a previous offence and it taught him nothing.

      What we know from the mental health professionals is (a) pedophiles are difficult to treat, and (b) they tend to reoffend, and (c) they are rarely cured.

      My own observation has taught me time spent in prison protects the public but does not cure them. I have known a significant number who reoffended while out on parole, and others who struck again almost immediately after being released.

      We recommend professional counseling because it is better than nothing and we have so few tools to work with. But after repeated offences we have to ask if it is worth putting another child at risk. The authorities should realize there comes a time when a pedophile simply runs out of chances.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist

  32. A parent
    December 11, 2015

    Hurray! Now I am seeing something being done to protect those innocent victims. I wish the judge could revise those already sentenced and serving time and give them 25 years plus too!
    Sick SOBs!

  33. enquire
    December 11, 2015

    That is only one step… appeal process next.

    • Face the Facts
      December 13, 2015

      He does not deserve an appeal. Years gone by they took their imprisonment. There was no appeal. There should not be one for this type of shocking crime on a minor.

  34. The Calabash
    December 11, 2015

    Ditto…. to the comments thus far.
    This is a heinous act and an affront to our most sacred values.

    Am not one for high sentences but this is well earned.

  35. See
    December 11, 2015

    That serves you right, piece of no-good for nothing. :-x

  36. SimplyDominican
    December 11, 2015

    Is it Xmas already? Why am I so happy!
    It was time for Justice to be served!
    Enjoy life and Death in Stockfarm Joseph. Enjoy.

    The Victim Cousin

  37. Dave Bertrand
    December 11, 2015

    And he should be castrated also!

  38. gullibles
    December 11, 2015

    If he was in states he would get life

    • Face the Facts
      December 13, 2015

      In addition he would have to spend imprisonment in isolation. If he is among the prisoners, once they know why he is imprisoned, they will kill him. It is a known fact in those prisons. They who are bad have this ethic, do not rape or murder children – minors. Canada is no exception.

    December 11, 2015

    I am so happy, no, OVERJOYED! FINALLY, a sentence has been arrived at that sends the message to all those who are abusing and planned to abuse our children that the time has come to STOP IT.

  40. keepingitreal
    December 11, 2015

    hip hip uoorayyyyy

  41. December 11, 2015

    It should be my child or niece or something I will be the one taking the jail

    • Silver fox
      December 11, 2015

      Kv, you talking crap how could any one wish that on their child,think first talk after.

      • qqq
        December 11, 2015

        WELL we all kno what she meant by if was her relative…anywho ..buggery, unlawful sexual intercourse and indecent assault on the girl, then aged 8 years and 6 months.THIS IS whats pissing me off im reading it and with each word im more enraged and saddened .if was my relative id have been the one goin for psychiatric help .how can someone do such a thing to a helpless child .thats the last time i want to hear mr name ….women do all u home work be vigilant with ur kids someone like that one look at him and i would know if hes a pedophile….u know what just treat all strangers and anyone whos not ur child father as a potential pedophile….u dont have to be obvious about it but when making decisions involving ur kids this should be ur personal mantra in ur head

  42. Peace
    December 11, 2015

    Hold the phone … “buggery, unlawful sexual intercourse and indecent assault” on an 8-year old girl? Get a rope and hang him high! This man is a monster and should be never be allowed to walk our streets again.

    • ms.k
      December 11, 2015

      why should i have to pay for mr free meals .

    • December 11, 2015

      I suspect your comments express the thoughts of most Dominicans.

      The time has come to send the nation a message. Judge Thomas did his best using the laws he has to work with. Given the age of Senhouse when he is released a harsher sentence would not have been practical. I can tell by reading DNO the commentators are encouraged.

      The judge showed wisdom by advising Senhouse be seen by Dr. Benjamin. However, counselling should also be provided for the child to avoid problems later in life.

      An appropriate charge should be laid against this little girl’s mother. She entered an illicit relationship with a pedophile and convicted sexual offender placing her daughter at risk. She allowed a criminal relationship between this man and her daughter to happen and to continue over an extended period of time. Was she receiving money from Senhouse? Was he paying the bills? If so she was pimping her daughter and belongs in jail.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

    • NancyG
      December 14, 2015

      I agree with you. Unbelievable, since this monster already did fifteen years for a similar crime.

  43. December 11, 2015

    Thats a hard sentence, Dude I hope your fellow rapists will think before they rape those innocent kids.

  44. JeanDelices
    December 11, 2015

    35 years is not enough. He should have gotten 50 years and chemical or physical castration. In my opinion even that would not be enough. That child will never be the same again. She will probably be scarred for life by his actions.

    • December 11, 2015

      The sentence could have been more severe.

      However Judge Thomas was considering Senhouse’s age when he is released. If I am reading this correctly he will be 86 if he serves all his time. Any longer sentence would serve no practical purpose. As far as castration goes I doubt if he will need it after 86, but then you never know!

      It is your last sentence that concerns me the most. “She will probably be scared for life by his actions.” This is sadly true. Professional therapy should be provided by the court for this child and it should be ongoing for an appropriate period of time. This should be supervised by a caring social worker who would report to Judge Thomas. Counseling for the victim in this case is even more necessary than for the
      offender for obvious reasons. It would be directed at providing emotional healing now and avoiding problems later in life, and these can be major.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist. (Pastoral Counselor Certificate)

  45. December 11, 2015

    That not enough time for him he should get life

  46. chucky
    December 11, 2015

    justice, good bye clec joe

  47. bleep
    December 11, 2015

    Nasty Man

  48. Dominican
    December 11, 2015

    Moder! I hope the court of appeal doesn’t mess it up

  49. views expreesed
    December 11, 2015

    Well, well,,,well, Thanks Justice Thomas……Thanks for sending out this message
    Leave our innocent children alone to grow in peace

    • Dominican
      December 11, 2015

      Hey That judge is the best

  50. respect
    December 11, 2015

    so wait after her bugger her he still had sex with her
    so woman he cannot get to release? is on de poor child he want to have his excitement magwaysa and law say is 35 years. so is only when somebody do that to the judge magistrate police pm etc is only then allu will pong their balls? alas so something nooooo I donor know de child but I have a girl and boy. we need better representation for our children she scar for life. after 35 yrs he come out fro
    prison college after eating tax payers money. I am saddened by that. and u want to cry in court? they should give u something to cry. that balls of yours give.it snogged ponging. smh Oh God help our young boys that they will b able to control their feelings and not abuse others amen.

  51. Zandoli
    December 11, 2015

    Hopefully that will send a clear message to those who are intent on destroying the lives of our kids.

  52. Trump ✓ᴼᴿᴵᴳᴵᴻᴬᴸ
    December 11, 2015

    Bye, bye, sicko…

    • Elephan
      December 11, 2015

      You know you’re sick when Donald Trump calls you sick :lol:

    • views expreesed
      December 11, 2015

      Yes wi,….we Trump him big time…………no Donald Duck business

  53. faith
    December 11, 2015

    He will die in jail. Tio nasty. Eight year old. Come on!

    • Face the Facts
      December 13, 2015

      And what he did to her? It is upsetting. He really deserves life imprisonment.

  54. Darky
    December 11, 2015

    oh now you crying????…… smh when u was in the act you didn’t know what u was doing was wrong………enjoy ur jail time tan

  55. yep
    December 11, 2015

    Now allu talking business. Fan chooy!

  56. yes i
    December 11, 2015


  57. :/
    December 11, 2015

    Papa Met Joseph well you will tired take jail for rape, ,weh Bordieh

    • nonamegal
      December 11, 2015

      Wait, this is a repeat offender? Why not give him life then!!!

    • SimplyDominican
      December 11, 2015

      hahha. I know right! Let him stay there and kayay yehyeh

    • Face the Facts
      December 13, 2015

      You made me laugh. :lol: :lol: :lol:
      He is a chronic and vicious pedophile. Prison should be the only home for him for the rest of his life.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

:) :-D :wink: :( 8-O :lol: :-| :cry: 8) :-? :-P :-x :?: :oops: :twisted: :mrgreen: more »

 characters available