david-cannings

Man to pay wife damages for breaching human rights

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By CHRISTOPHER YOWAT
A MAN who assaulted his defacto wife on eight different occasions has been ordered by the court to pay her K10,000 in damages for breaching her human rights.
The case filed by Mary Keoa against Dilessy Keoa came before Justice David Cannings in the Waigani National Court on Oct 12.
Justice Cannings found Dilessy guilty and awarded Mary K8000 (K1000 for each of the infringements) in reasonable damages, and K2000 in exemplary damages.
Justice Cannings permanently restrained them from assaulting, harassing and intimidating each other at any place and at any time.
He said Mary had been in a relationship of intimacy and trust with Dilessy for four years.
“She had the right to be protected (by the law) against, and to be free from, cruel treatment for the duration of that relationship,” he said.
“In a society such as Papua New Guinea, where it is widely recognised that domestic and gender-based violence is a major problem, this sort of violence must be recognised as a human rights issue.”
The court was told that Mary was assaulted, detained or otherwise intimidated by Dilessy on 11 occasions over a four-year period.
Dilessy admitted some of the assault cases but claimed that on each occasion, his actions were justified as he was acting under extreme provocation.
He denied that on any of the occasions, he had infringed Mary’s human rights.
Justice Cannings sustained eight of the 11 allegations of assault and intimidation.
He found that Dilessy had breached Mary’s human rights, in particular the right to freedom from cruel treatment under Section 36(1) of the Constitution.
He also found that Dilessy had committed acts of unjustified physical and emotional violence against Mary.

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