The National – Monday, June 27, 2011
A JUVENILE who raped a married woman was sentenced to six years jail by the Madang National Court last Wednesday.
However, Justice David Cannings suspended the sentence and ordered the boy to be released because the families had made peace.
The boy, who was 15-years-old when he committed the offence last year, had already served 14 months of his sentence.
Cannings said the maximum penalty for rape was 15 years, however, he said he took into consideration the boy’s age, his guilty plea, that he was a first-time offender, his apology and payment of compensation to the victim’s family, which included a pig, food items and K500.
On the day of the rape, the boy went to the victim’s house and raped her in front of some children.
“Cases under this, range from four years to 14 years depending on the circumstances of rape,” Cannings said.
The boy, who cannot be named because of his age, will undergo probation.
In addition, he must organise a further reconciliation ceremony and pay another K300 to the victim.
In the same court, Melchior Gunan, of Kananam village, Rempi, Madang, was jailed seven years, five months and two weeks on two similar charges of manslaughter.
Cannings described the crimes as “a very vicious case of wife beating”.
Gunan, a former quality product controller with RD Tuna, assaulted his second wife after an argument.
The woman suffered a ruptured spleen and fractured neck, killing her instantly.
“Sadly, this is another tragic case of domestic violence. Even though relatives on both sides want total suspended sentences, I say that that would be cheapening the value of human life,” Cannings said, adding that the sentence “must reflect the seriousness of offence”.
In another case, John Yeon, 36, was jailed 13 years and two months for killing his wife.
He told the court “he tried to educate her but somehow she died” from his beatings.