By GABRIEL LAHOC
A 59-YEAR-old widower from Simbu was given a suspended sentence after pleading guilty to molesting a young girl in 2008.
Tom Yalbingo molested the girl by fondling her vagina with his fingers during a game of cards in Kamkumung settlement.
Justice Panuel Mogish jailed Yalbingo four years but he will only have to serve the remaining 18 months of his sentence outside jail on good behaviour bond.
Yalbingo had been in custody for 16 months awaiting trial.
The father of one, whose frail appearance evoked compassion from the court’s public gallery, pleaded guilty to sexually touching a minor.
In mitigation, Yalbingo said he had shown remorse by paying K500 as compensation and that his eight-year-old son was living with relatives whom he did not know their current whereabouts.
Justice Mogish said he also considered that Yalbingo only touched but did not penetrate the little girl’s vagina with his fingers.
He reminded Yalbingo that the crime of sexual touching was prevalent in the society and offenders could be jailed up to seven years whether young or old.
“The time spent in custody teaches you not to commit such a crime. You should now keep clear from young children and not play cards with them,” Justice Mogish said.