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Judge Finds Mother Rapist Guilty

Judge Finds Mother Rapist Guilty
November 14
11:37 2017


In a first for Fiji, a 45-year-old woman was convicted in the Suva High Court yesterday after she was found guilty of raping her daughter.

The incidents happened in Nasinu between January 1, 2016 and July 5, 2016 when the victim was in Year Eight.

Judge Justice Salesi Temo is expected to deliver the sentence of the mother of four today at 11:30am.

The assessors deliberated for about 25 minutes and came out with a mixed opinion.

The first and third assessor found the woman guilty on a count of rape while the second assessor found her not guilty.

On the second count of sexual assault, all three assessors found the woman guilty as charged.

While convicting the woman, Justice Temo said that he found the victim to be a credible witness.

He said he had reviewed all the evidence said during trial in accordance with the summing up that he delivered to the three assessors.

He said the assessors’ verdict was not perverse as it was open to them to reach such a conclusion.

He said the assessors were present to assist trial judges to reach a decision on whether the accused is guilty or not.

“My assessment of the witnesses credibility I find the complainant to be a credible witness and I accept her evidence and version of events,” Justice Temo said.

“It is my view that she was forthright and was not shaken in cross examination. There was no reason for her to report her mother to the Police unless what she was alleging was true.” Accordingly Justice Temo overturned the second assessor’s not guilty verdict on the rape charge and convicted the woman.

During sentence submissions, Justice Temo told Legal Aid lawyer Namrata Mishra that if found guilty accused persons found meddling with children should not expect mercy from the Court.

“Through them I am speaking to other parents. So through the sentence I will pass on her I am speaking to other parents and mothers not to abuse their daughters. That is the nature of the judicial task,” he said.

On behalf of the accused Ms Mishra sought a sentence on the lower end of the tariff starting at 10 years imprisonment because the accused was a first offender and also had a 10-year-old son who was in the Welfare system and whom the accused had to take care of.

State counsel asked for a sentence of 13-years imprisonment.

The accused is remanded in custody pending sentencing today.

Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola



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