Uncle Jailed for Unspeakable Crime

A 47-year-old man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison by the High Court in Lautoka for raping and sexually abusing his 12-year-old niece over the span of one year.

Justice Aruna Aluthge, while delivering the sentence, highlighted several aggravating factors including the significant age difference between the accused and the victim, the familial relationship, and the fact that the victim was living under his care and protection. Justice Aluthge emphasized that such a crime was unexpected from someone in a position of trust. Additionally, there was evidence indicating that the offenses were premeditated.

In considering mitigating factors, Justice Aluthge noted that the accused had cooperated with the police during the investigation, pleaded guilty at the first opportunity, had no prior convictions, and maintained a clear record.

Court proceedings revealed that the abuse occurred between January 1, 2022, and December 31, 2022. On one occasion, the complainant was at home when the accused entered her bedroom, sat beside her on the bed, and told her to close the door. When she did, he was already naked, then undressed her, and raped her.

The abuse continued from February 1, 2023, to September 13, 2023. On September 16, 2023, while the complainant was at home with her siblings, the accused sent the siblings outside to plant cabbage, and the complainant to tidy her room. He then entered her room and raped her again. This incident led to the matter being reported. The complainant underwent a medical examination, and the accused was arrested on September 20, 2023. He was subsequently interviewed, charged, and brought before the Lautoka Magistrates Court.

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