NATION

Rape Of A Child Shocking, Offenders Should Be Severely Punished: Judge

"Justice Sunil Sharma made the comments at the High Court in Lautoka while sentenc­ing a man to 17 years and 10 months’ impris­onment for raping his granddaughter."
01 May 2019 18:32
Rape Of A Child Shocking, Offenders Should Be Severely Punished: Judge

A judge says the rape of a child is the most serious forms of sexual vio­lence and offenders should be dealt with severely.

There is no two ways about it, he adds.

Justice Sunil Sharma made the comments at the High Court in Lautoka while sentenc­ing a man to 17 years and 10 months’ impris­onment for raping his granddaughter.

“Children are entitled to live their lives free from any form of physical or emotional abuse,” he said.

“When family members sexually abuse children, violating the Domestic Violence Act, they should expect condign punish­ment to mark the society’s outrage and de­nunciation against such conduct.

“A long-term imprisonment becomes inevi­table in such situations.”

The victim, who was seven years old and a Year 3 student, was sitting on the settee and reading at her home in Vatukoula on June 24, 2017 when the accused went and sat be­side her and sexually assaulted the victim.

As a result of what he did, she told her mother everything after the accused left be­cause she was scared of him.

The matter was reported to Police and a medical exami­nation found that the victim had sustained in­juries.

The ac­cused, who is 55 years old now, a first of­fender and married with three children, was arrested and charged by Police.

He was convicted of sexual assault and rape last week after a trial.

Justice Sharma said the aggravating fea­tures were that the accused was the grand­father of the victim, who trusted the ac­cused who had gone to her house and stayed for a few days.

“The accused knew the victim was vulner­able and naive and he breached the trust of the victim by what he did to her,” he said.

“The accused has also breached the sanc­tity of the relationship between a grandfa­ther and a granddaughter.

“The accused had planned what he wanted to do. The victim was reading on the settee, the mother of the victim was not around.

“The accused went to the victim he knew she was unsupervised and he took advan­tage of the situation, which resulted in him committing the offences.”

Justice Sharma said the victim was seven years old whereas the ac­cused was 53 years old at the time of the of­fending, the age difference was substantial.

He said it was a matter of concern to note the prevalence of rape and sexual assault cases on children by relatives.

“It is the duty of the court to protect chil­dren from sexual exploitation of any kind that is the reason why the law has imposed life imprisonment as the maximum penal­ty,” the Justice Sharma said.

“There has been an increase in sexual of­fences involving offenders who are known to the victim and are matured adults.

“It is shocking, sickening and appalling to note the manner in which the accused had committed both the offences on this child.”

Justice Sharma passed an aggregate sen­tence of 17 years and 10 months on the ac­cused and ordered that he would be eligible for parole after serving 16 years.

“Due to the closeness of the relationship between the accused and the victim, a per­manent non-molestation and non-contact orders are issued to protect the victim un­der the Domestic Violence Act,” he said.

Edited by Susana Tuilau

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