Sunvoice

EDITORIAL: ODPP Must Be Applauded For Setting Precedent In Rape Ruling

High Court judge Justice Daniel Goundar has shown that rapists and child rapists will not be let off easy by the justice system. Yesterday, he sentenced a man to life
15 Dec 2018 11:44
EDITORIAL: ODPP Must Be Applauded For Setting Precedent In Rape Ruling

High Court judge Justice Daniel Goundar has shown that rapists and child rapists will not be let off easy by the justice system.

Yesterday, he sentenced a man to life imprisonment. The man, fathered a child after he raped his daughter. He went on to rape that child when she turn 10.

Justice Goundar showed this beast no mercy and con­victed him of seven counts of rape and two counts of indecent assault.

This is the first time a rapist has been jailed for life by our courts. The role the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) played in this need to be acknowl­edged as well.

Assistant DPP Dato’ Shaymala Alagendra herself led the prosecution team in this case and argued success­fully that the lives of both victims will never be the same again after going through 31 years of abuse.

She needs to be applauded for the role she and her team played in setting precedence in the country.

The state prosecution had called an expert witness, the Director of the Human Rights in Trauma Mental Health Programme and a Clinical Professor at the Stanford Uni­versity School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, Dr Daryn Reicherter, in this case to give expert evidence on the mental health conse­quences of sexual violence and rape on children.

In his evidence, Dr Reicherter said that this case was one of the worst he had ever seen and said both victims in this case had been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and showed severe anxiety symptoms as well as chronic suicidal thoughts and behaviour.

Last month the Supreme Court had set another prec­edence in another rape case, also involving a man who raped his biological daughters.

In this matter, the rapist, again, the father had appealed to the Supreme Court against his sentence of 16 years. The Supreme Court after hearing that the Office of the DPP has filed additional material showing an increase in the prevalence of child rape in Fiji, the court agreed the sentence required an enhancement.

He was jailed to 17 years and nine months, with a non-parole period of 16 years.

The court also agreed with the State that it was neces­sary to review the previous tariff of 10 to 16 years for child rape offences.

The court concluded that the current tariff for child rape offences in Fiji is now 11 to 20 years imprisonment. The court also said that the tariff could be exceeded in particularly heinous cases.

And, that is not all. Under the guidance of the Director of Public Prosecutions Christopher Pryde, his office yes­terday filed documents appealing three rape sentences. They are of the view that the sentences are lenient and harsher penalties need to be imposed.

The Office of the DPP is doing its job, the Judiciary is doing its job in sentencing these rapists.

Are you? Are you turning a blind eye to the abuse?

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

Subscribe to E-Edition
Vodafone-giga-plan
GSMA
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
SPSE
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: