‘Dirty old man’ jailed for four years

Lae News, Normal

A 79-YEAR-old former policeman has been described as a “dirty old man” by Justice Nicholas Kirriwom who this week found him guilty of sexually penetrating a nine-year-old daughter of a fellow policeman with his fingers at Bumbu police barracks, Lae.
Justice Kirriwom jailed 22-year pre-Independence police veteran John Simka for four years but deducted one year eight months and 11 days spent in custody.
The National Court sitting was told that in 2008, Simka, a father of six grown children from Usino-Bundi in Madang province, initially maintained his innocence but then pleaded guilty citing that this would fast track his case.
The court was told that he had lured the girl into the cover of some plants and bushes where he penetrated her with his fingers.
The court heard that the child was scared at that time and did not report the matter to her parents.
However, an eyewitness told the parents who laid a complaint with the police.
Justice Kirriwom reminded Simka that while the child’s physical wounds had healed, she might still be emotionally scarred when she grew into adulthood.
When considering the 70-year age gap between the victim and Simka, he said he would not make decisions attributed to any age gap “as the crime is serious whether it is performed by a youth, a middle aged man or an old man”.
Justice Kirriwom said before 2002, perpetrators charged with sexual assault were sentenced to a maximum of five years, however, following changes to the law that year, the maximum penalty now for sexual penetration is life imprisonment.
The prisoner did not show any signs of remorse when the decision was handed down but calmly made his way back to the defendant’s bench before being transported back to Buimo jail.