Former chief minister in Montserrat imprisoned for 15 years
The High Court Monday sentenced former chief minister, David Brandt, to 15 years in prison after he had earlier been found guilty on six counts of sexual exploitation and one count of perverting the course of justice.
The court had set sentencing for July 14 for Brandt, who had originally been charged with seven counts of sexual exploitation, but the jury could not reach a decision on the first count.
He had been remanded since the end of the trial on June 30.
The case against the prominent attorney dates back to September 18, 2015, when Brandt was initially arrested and charged with one count of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor in 2010.
In 2015, he was charged with conspiracy to have sex with a minor due to developments that took place between April and September of 2015.
Brandt had always maintained his innocence and said that “my day in court will show that is the case, and that I am innocent. These allegations that have been brought against me are totally false.”
But, in November 2018, Brandt, who served as chief minister from 1997-2001, was taken into custody by local police assisted by members of the United Kingdom's National Crime Agency and several charges were laid against him including two counts of child sexual exploitation and one count of perverting the course of justice.
In the midst of the 1997 volcanic devastation, Brandt assumed the position of chief minister and later retired from active politics in 2001.
As a member of the Legislative Council of Montserrat, he won a seat in every election since his first attempt in 1983.