You Have Ruined Life Of Young Girl, Rapist Told
Accused sentenced to 13 years with a non-parole period of 10 years.
You have ruined the life of a young girl who had a bright future ahead of her, said Justice Sunil Sharma while sentencing an accused convicted of rape.
“You should be ashamed of yourself,” the 37-year-old accused was told in court.
“As a matured adult and someone who was trusted by the victim, you should have been more responsible.”
The accused was convicted after he was found guilty of rape and indecent assault. He was sentenced to 13 years and 11 months imprisonment with a non-parole period of 10 years. The offences happened between July 9 and 31, 2012 when he had sex with the 15-year-old girl without her consent and unlawfully and indecently assaulted her by caressing her breast.
The court heard that the victim fell pregnant as a result and the matter was reported to the Police.
“It is disgusting to note the manner in which you had breached the trust of this child,” Justice Sharma said.
“She became pregnant at a time when children are developing and looking forward to better times in life. Because of you all her dreams and aspirations have been shattered; no amount of repentance can make up for what the victim has lost,” Justice Sharma said.
In mitigation, the accused submitted that he was a first offender, was 31-years-old at the time of the offence and is married with two children.
The accused submitted that he was the director of a carpentry business and earned $500 per fortnight.He is also a Government grant scholarship student at Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) and undertaking his last stage of carpentry course.
He also cooperated with the Police during the course of investigations and sought leniency from the court and promised not to reoffend.
Justice Sharma noted that an aggravating factor was the breach of trust.
The victim knew the accused and looked upon him as a brother, who would regularly visit the victim’s home. As per the victim’s impact assessment report the victim could not finish her education because she got pregnant. The court heard that she had to stay home to look after her son.
“It is a well-known fact in this country that sexual offences involving children continue to rise,” Justice Sharma said.
“In most cases the perpetrators are people who are known to the victims. It is the duty of the court to protect young children from sexual exploitation of any kind that is the reason why the law has imposed life imprisonment as the maximum penalty.”
The court also recommended that the Fiji Corrections Service (FCS) Commissioner provides assistance for the accused to complete his carpentry course.