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Taxi Driver Convicted Of Abduction, Three Counts Of Rape

Taxi Driver Convicted Of  Abduction, Three Counts Of Rape
February 28
11:02 2018

Nausori taxi driver was convicted on three counts of rape and one count of abduction of a young person in the High Court of Suva on Monday.

The accused, Umendra Kumar, was found guilty by Judge Justice Riyaz Hamza after a 13-day trial before three assessors. The assessors found him guilty. Justice Hamza concurred with them.

On January 10, 2014 the accused unlawfully took the 14-year-old victim out of possession and against the will of her mother.

He then raped her on three separate occasions between January 11 and 13, 2014 in Nadi and Rakiraki.

While delivering his judgment, Justice Hamza said the assessors’ opinion of guilty on all four counts was justified and was open for them to reach such a conclusion.

Considering the totality of the evidence presented in Court, Justice Hamza said it was his opinion that the prosecution had proved its case beyond any reasonable doubt by adducing truthful and reliable evidence.

He said the evidence satisfied all the elements of the offence of abduction and the three counts of rape against Kumar.

The evidence revealed that the accused had threatened the victim and her friend with a dagger knife while they were walking along Matanikorovatu Road in Eight Miles at around 11pm on January 10, 2014.

He then drove them to Lautoka where they picked up the accused’s friend who had been waiting with a carton of beer before they drove back to Nadi to the accused’s brother-in-law’s house.

The girl testified how the accused raped her in Nadi for about 10 minutes. She said she shouted but no one came to help her.

She said the accused was swearing at her and telling her to shut her mouth or he would throw her into the bush.

The following evening, he again had raped her for about 10 to 15 minutes.

She testified that the door to the room had been locked from inside and outside.

The next morning he took the victim and her friend to Rakiraki to visit his uncle and aunt’s house and threatened to kill them if they said anything.

He raped her again on that day.

Both lawyers had been instructed to appear before Justice Hamza next week for sentence hearing.

The accused was remanded in custody pending sentencing.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

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