Child sex offender loses appeal against conviction

National

A THREE-MAN Supreme Court bench has  dismissed an application against conviction after the court found that the verdict against the offender was not unsafe nor unsatisfactory.
The panel consisted of Justice Collin Makail, Justice David Cannings and Justice Jacinta Murray.
The offender or appellant Rodney Paul was convicted and jailed for six years by the National Court on three counts of a child sex offence known as “abuse of trust”.
The court heard that the appeal by Paul was on five grounds and that it was an appeal against conviction and not the sentence.
The court dismissed all the grounds of the appeal after it found that it failed to establish that the verdict against Paul was unsafe or unsatisfactory, the conviction entailed a wrong decision on a question of law or there was a material irregularity in the trial pursuant to Section 23 of the Supreme Court Act.
The court heard that the offence was committed between Nov 2010 and April 2011 by Paul when he was in the process of completing his education at the University of PNG at Waigani, NCD.
The court was told that the complainant was a girl aged 16, who was living with her parents at their family home, at Tokarara, in Port Moresby.
The court heard that Paul and the complainant’s family were from Western Highlands.
Paul was considered a member of the family by the complainant’s parents since he was a regular visitor to their family home and would also often spend weekends at the house, the court was told.
It heard that he stayed at the Tokarara house for an extended time over the Christmas-New Year period in 2010-2011.
The court also heard that Paul sexually touched or penetrated the complainant on at least three occasions during the period.

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