By ZEDAIAH KANAU
BOMANA National Court Justice Panuel Mogish remarked on Friday that child molesters and sexual predators do not deserve to live amongst children because they pose a threat to security and the well-being of children.
Mogish then jailed a 27-year-old man six years with hard labour on Friday for molesting his three-year-old cousin sister in Tokarara on April 20, 2018.
“Children have the same rights as adults and must be treated with respect and dignity.
“They must be protected from sexual predators like you. If you cannot respect this simple rule, then you do not deserve to live amongst children.
“What you did to the child was morally and legally wrong.
“A young child of that tender age is not fit to engage in any sexual activities.
“You took advantage of her vulnerability and abused her. And this happened inside a family home, a place considered to be safe from outside harm,” he added.
Mogish said: “This kind offence is becoming prevalent in our communities and society.
“This sentence should send out a strong signal to potential child molesters in the country to refrain from committing such vile and heinous offences against children.
“They are not commodities to be manipulated at will by anybody.
“Given their age and vulnerability, all efforts must be made by communities to ensure they are free from any form of violence.”
The court heard that on April 20, 2018, at their home in Port Moresby, while the child was sleeping, the man unzipped his pants, laid on top of her and touched her private part.
He was caught in the act by the child’s mother but he fled and was later captured in his place of work after three days.
The child sustained bruises in her private area.
The maximum sentence for molest is 12 years but the man’s lawyer, Malcom Sumbuk, submitted for a sentence between two and five years while State lawyer Andrew Kaipu asked for a sentence of between five and seven years.
Mogish imposed a six-year sentence but suspended two years and ten months spent in custody, leaving a balance of three years and two months.
Mogish suspended a year and two months of the sentence because of the man’s guilty plea.
He will serve two years in jail and placed on a one-year good behaviour bond upon his release.
By ZEDAIAH KANAU