NATION

Court Acquits Dad Of Rape Charges

A Nadi man who was accused of raping his daughter was acquitted by the High Court in Lautoka. The High Court of Lautoka judge, Justice Thushara Rajasinghe in his judgment
02 Sep 2016 08:52
Court Acquits Dad Of Rape Charges

A Nadi man who was accused of raping his daughter was acquitted by the High Court in Lautoka.

The High Court of Lautoka judge, Justice Thushara Rajasinghe in his judgment said there was reasonable doubt about the credibility and reliability of the evidence given by the victim. Therefore he did not accept the evidence given by the victim.

Justice Rajasinghe said he observed the demeanour of the victim when she gave evidence.

“She was evasive and not consistent in her answers when she was cross examined by the learned counsel for the defence about the opportunities she had to raise alarm to her sister/or sisters who were sleeping close to her,” Justice Rajasinghe said.

Justice Rajasinghe drew attention to the victim’s evidence in court during the trial when she said her sister asked her why she was always scared. However in giving evidence her sister never asked her the question.

The victim said that she told her teacher in charge of the girls in school the matter twice; once during the first term and then after school holidays. But the teacher in her evidence said she was told only once about the issue.

He said the statements were therefore contradictory.

Justice Rajasinghe said the victim did not specify in her evidence much of the accusations made by her against her father.

He said he did not find any cogent reasons to disagree with the majority verdict of not guilty by the assessors in respect of the first and second count as charged. However there was cogent reason for him to disagree with the majority verdict of guilty given by the assessor in respect of the third count.

The man was charged with two counts of rape and one count of indecent assault. The victim had accused her father of performing the sexual acts between April and May 2013 after she arrived from Taveuni to stay with her father to further her studies.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

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