A 22-YEAR-OLD security guard was jailed four years with hard labour for molestation by using his genital to fondle a four-year-old girl’s lips on Aug 4, 2018.
In sentencing Danny Thomas, Waigani National Court judge Justice George Manuhu reminded lawyers not to use age or age difference to mitigate for lighter sentences.
“Don’t make a big deal over a 60-year-old committing an offence on a four-year-old girl.
“They are all adults.
“Unless the offender (or accused) is 17 or 18, then the argument of maturity arises,” he added.
Manuhu remarked in response to defence lawyer Agnes Peters that Thomas pleaded for a lesser penalty because he was only 22 years old.
Peters submitted that Thomas should not be given the maximum penalty of 12 years jail under the law for an offence of sexual touching.
She also argued on the grounds that the mitigating factors outweighed the aggravating factor, given that the prisoner was lowly educated, had no prior conviction and did not inflict any physical harm on the victim.
The State lawyer, however, submitted that the aggravating factors outweighed the mitigating factors given that:
- THE child was taken from her mother’s market table in broad day light in a public place;
- THERE’S a huge age difference of 17 years;
- THOMAS was a security guard in the market area and had a responsibility to protect the market and people; and,
- SERIOUS psychological effect on the child.
Manuhu ruled that Thomas was not entitled to any probation given the serious nature of the offence.
“Thomas did not show any fear when he took the girl from the public area as he was determined to commit the offence.
“There was a breach of trust, given that he was a security guard.
“Such offences are prevalent in the country and the Government is imposing tougher penalties but no one seems to be scared,” he added.
Thomas was found guilty of one count of molest for taking a minor into the public bathroom with intention of raping her.