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Rugby Contract No Interest, Man Jailed 9 Years For Rape

Rugby Contract No Interest, Man Jailed 9 Years For Rape
August 22
12:39 2018

A 27-year-old contracted rugby player was told by the High Court that his previous record reflected a history of violence and sexual assault.

Justice Paul Madigan made the remarks on Monday in the High Court in Labasa while sentencing Uliano Samunaka to nine years and six months imprisonment for rape.

Samunaka was told that his “alleged prowess as a rugby player and his forthcoming contracts to play abroad are of no interest to the court and play no part in mitigation in Fiji”.

The incident happened in the early hours of July 23, 2017, at a village in the Northern Division.

The victim is a married, middle-aged woman who hails from the same village as Samunaka.

On the morning of the incident she was sleeping alone in her bed when she was awoken because of intense pain. Her husband was away.

When she woke up she saw Samunaka on top of her.

She could not shout out to her relatives who were sleeping in the next room because the accused was forcing her mouth shut with his hand.

He tried to force her legs apart, but she resisted and he punched her twice on her thigh before leaving her room and the house.

The woman then managed to shout and alert a young relative who was sleeping in the next room, who went outside to look for the accused, but could not find him.

The court heard that the accused had been drinking grog and home brew with his peers from 8pm the evening before.

In his sentence, Justice Madigan said the accused has four previous convictions for indecent assault, theft and assault causing actual bodily harm.

However, he could not be penalised further for those convictions nor did he receive a discount for good character either.

Samunaka submitted in mitigation that he was living in a de facto relationship, has a seven-year-old son and earned $100 per week as a farmer.

He added that he is the sole breadwinner of his family which includes his elderly parents and three younger siblings.

The aggravating features was the use of violence and the fact that the sexual invasion was committed in the middle of the night.

The accused was ordered to serve a minimum term of eight years in jail before he could be eligible for parole.

Edited by Epineri Vula



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