Crime & Court

No Leniency For Man Who Assaulted Girl, 9

Justice Goundar said that while he accepts that the accused’s medical conditions may cause him some hardship in prison, he did not accept that the conditions were exceptional to extend mercy to him.
24 Mar 2020 13:47
No Leniency For Man Who Assaulted Girl, 9

Medical conditions are not a licence to commit a crime, says High Court Judge Justice Daniel Goundar.

He made this comment yesterday while sentencing a 55-year-old man to 13 years imprisonment for the indecent assault and digital rape of a 9-year-old girl.

The offences happened last year on two separate occasions in a village in Tailevu when the accused, who is related to the complainant’s father, would visit the family home.

In his mitigation submission he submitted that he was sickly and was on medication for asthma.

He also stated that he had undergone three surgeries including a heart surgery in 2016 and attends cardiac clinics at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital.

Justice Goundar said that while he accepts that the accused’s medical conditions may cause him some hardship in prison, he did not accept that the conditions were exceptional to extend mercy to him.

“The Department of Corrections can manage the offender’s medical conditions in prison,” he said.

When one of the incidents occurred, it was witnessed by the girl’s older sibling who saw her crying.

Justice Goundar said the complainant was physically traumatised by the acts and described it as painful.

She immediately reported the incident to her mother who was at home at the time and the accused was confronted.

At first, he denied the allegation saying he only kissed the girl, but he later asked for forgiveness saying he was only playing around.

Justice Goundar said the accused expressed little remorse and had suggested to the girl that he was only expressing love and affection to her and that she had fabricated the allegation of sexual abuse.

The aggravating factors include the girl’s vulnerability, the fact that she was sexually abused in her home and that the abuse was repeated and the second incident was witnessed by another child.

The girl had also experienced physical pain and was seen crying and shivering and the offender had breached the trust between him and the girl and her parents.

The accused has been sentenced with a non-parole period of 10 years.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj



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