THE argument that sex with a minor is justified because he or she has given consent is irrelevant in any court, the Supreme Court sitting in Lae ruled yesterday.
“Whether consent to have sex has been given or not, the reason cannot be used as an excuse in court simply because the victim is still under the age of 16,” Justice Ambeng Kandakasi said, heading a three-man Supreme Court bench which also comprised Justices Derek Hartshorn and Colin Makail.
During the hearing, the appellant, Kerry Endeko, argued that the girl had given her consent to have sex with him.
He told the court that he was poorly represented by his lawyer and that he was forced to plead guilty by his lawyer to five counts of sexual penetration of a minor in July 2005.
He said that in his earlier hearing, he had provided the National Court with the girl’s health book which showed she was over the age of 16.
The accused was then asked by Justice Kandakasi whether he was present at the time of the victim’s birth, to be in a position to question the mother’s claim that the girl was indeed under the age of 16 at the time of the offence. Endeko replied that he was not.
He was also asked by Justice Kandakasi if the lawyer he was accusing of poor representation knew of the matter, and he answered no.
In handing down the decision, Justice Kandakasi said all grounds concerning the appeal were misconceived and had no merit.
“The appeal is dismissed because it is a waste of the court’s time and there is overwhelming evidence to show that the girl is under the age of 16 and that you abused her,” he said.