NATION

Uncles Guilty Of Sodomy

Three men found guilty of raping their 14-year-old nephew between November 1, 2015 and January 19 last year were sentenced to 14 years imprisonment each yesterday. The facts of the
08 Nov 2017 11:25
Uncles Guilty Of Sodomy

Three men found guilty of raping their 14-year-old nephew between November 1, 2015 and January 19 last year were sentenced to 14 years imprisonment each yesterday.

The facts of the case revealed that the first accused was 39 years old; the second accused was 35 years old, married and has a young daughter while the third accused was 52 years old, married with four children.

On the first count, the first accused enticed the complainant who was a 12-year-old at the time to his kitchen and forcefully sodomised him.

On the second count, the second accused enticed the same complainant near his pig pen and thereafter forcefully sodomised him.

On the third count while the complainant was at his grandmother’s place the third accused forcefully sodomised him.

While sentencing the three men, Judge Justice SalesiTemo said the complainant was incapable of legal consent and the accused men were aware of the same.

Justice Temo said that unlawful sodomy was classified as rape in the Crimes Act of 2009.

He said the maximum penalty was life imprisonment and for the rape of a child the tariff was a sentence between 10 to 16 years imprisonment.

He said the final sentence was dependent on the aggravating factors of the case and the mitigation of the three accused.

Justice Temo said an aggravating factor of the case was that there was a serious breach of trust in that the three men had sexually abused their nephew.

“All of you are related to the complainant. You are all the complainant’s uncles and he is your nephew,” Justice Temo said.

“You all reside in the same village. In the village setting the older relatives are supposed to look after the younger ones and guide them in becoming better citizens.

“You are the role models for the young ones. The betterment of the village is determined on how you treat the young ones. In this case you did exactly the opposite.”

Justice Temo stated that the accused men’s behaviour could potentially have a negative ripple effect on the peace and harmony in their village.

“Relatives would start fighting other relatives. Your behaviour would have hurt the feelings of others especially the complainant’s family. Peace and harmony must be restored by each of you having to pay a high price for your individual misbehaviour a long custodial sentence was therefore required,” Justice Temo said.

He said the Court continued to denounce the abuse of children who were the future of this country.

“We will keep on passing long prison sentences as a warning to would-be child rapists,” he said.

“By offending against the complainant you had no regard to his right as a child, his right as a human being and his right to live a peaceful and happy life.”

In handing down his final sentence, Justice Temo said the sentence of 14 years imprisonment with a non-parole period of 12 years was designed to punish the accused men in a manner which was just in all circumstances and protect the community from would-be child rapists.

The fourth accused was acquitted on Monday after Justice Temo concurred with the three assessors’ not guilty verdict.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback:  fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj



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