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Court Jails Farmer For Raping Vulnerable Victim

Court Jails Farmer For Raping Vulnerable Victim
March 08
11:00 2018

A 56-year-old farmer convicted of indecently, sexually assaulting and raping an elderly victim suffering from stroke and dementia has been sentenced to 12 years imprisonment by the High Court in Labasa.

The accused, represented by the Legal Aid Commission, appeared before Justice Daniel Goundar. The court heard that on May 14, 2016, the victim was left alone at home by her family members who were attending a church service.

The accused was returning home from a drinking session when he noticed that the victim was sitting alone on the veranda of her home.

He then went and sat beside her. Justice Goundar said the accused was the nephew and he referred to the complainant “as aunty”.

“You are also her neighbour and have been a frequent visitor to her home and knew about her physical and mental health,” Justice Goundar said.

“You exploited the situation and the breach of trust was gross. The victim was vulnerable due to her age and illness and she was about 71 years old when you sexually molested her. The victim said in her evidence that she did not agree to the sexual acts.

“Although no physical force or violence was used, the experience of being sexually violated by a family member was humiliating for the victim.”

The victim said in her evidence that she did not agree to the sexual acts because the accused “was her nephew”.

“I consider the following factors as aggravating to make an upward adjustment to the sentence,” the Judge said.

“The gross breach of trust, vulnerability of the victim due to old age and illness, humiliating experience of the victim and victim’s juvenile granddaughter witnessed the act of kissing.

“The courts have a duty to denounce and deter any form of sexual violence.

“Rape is a form of sexual violence. Although the victim’s body is attacked, the impact is felt on the victim’s soul. Emotional trauma can last long.”

Taking all these matters into account, Justice Goundar sentenced him accordingly.

For one count of indecent assault – six month’s imprisonment, count two: sexual assault – two years imprisonment and count three: rape – 12 years imprisonment.

He said all sentences are to be served concurrently.

He fixed a non-parole period of eight years.

Edited by George Kulamaiwasa

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