By JESSE KARO
A MAN was yesterday jailed 15 years with hard labour for raping his five-year-old niece.
The man’s name has been withheld to protect the identity of the child from Madang.
Justice George Manuhu in the Waigani National Court imposed the sentence yesterday after assessing submissions from the lawyers representing the accused and the State. A year and six months were deducted from the sentence for the time spent in custody. Justice Manuhu considered aggravating factors which included a huge age difference of 25 years, and there was a relationship of trust, authority and dependency between the prisoner and the victim’s family.
The prisoner committed the offence when he was 30 years old and the victim was five. The prisoner committed the between Jan 1 and June 7, 2018 at the victim’s home at Taurama.
According to medical report from the Tokarara Medical Centre, the victim suffered from gonorrhoea which she contracted from being sexually abused by her uncle.
In considering the relevancy of imposing an appropriate penalty for the crime, Justice Manuhu told the prisoner not to expect too much leniency despite him pleading guilty and showing remorse in the first place.
“Whatever you have done is a serious offence and don’t expect too much leniency” Justice Manuhu said. “The offence against children is prevalent in the society, and everyone is sick and tired of this, it has to stop.” Mitigating factors were that the man was a first-time offender and he pleaded guilty to committing the offence and had apologised to the court and family of the victim. However, the lawyer representing the State, Susan Joseph, argued that the man’s sense of remorse and apologies were not genuine and that he only apologised to the court because he was caught and found guilty.
By JESSE KARO