By HEZROIN KISING
A 70-YEAR-OLD man who sexually assaulted a seven-year-old girl three years ago has been jailed for 10 years.
Justice Lawrence Kangwia in the National Court in Lae rejected a request by Thomas Macnell to be given a shorter jail term. He was convicted of sexual penetration.
Justice Kangwai ruled that:
- MACNELL as an elderly person should have known better and not commit a criminal offence;
- THE request was the consequences of falling out of line with the law; and,
- PRE-SENTENCE report indicated that he had no ability to reconcile with the girl’s family.
Justice Kangwia told Macnell that the crime was prevalent and warranted a deterrent sentence.
He said it was a gross and heinous invasion of privacy on an innocent child and an abuse of trust.
Macnell apologised to the court and asked for a short jail term to be served outside prison.
He told the court that his children had been affected because he had not paid their school fees.
He also pleaded with the court not to send him to prison because it was crowded and he did not want to die there. The court heard that on June 3, 2018, Macnell had given his phone to the girl to watch a movie, while he sexually assaulted her.
The girl’s mother caught him in the act. Macnell was sentenced to 10 years but the court deducted two years and eight months spent in custody.