A 36-year-old man has been sentenced by the Supreme Court to 4 years and 9 months’ imprisonment for committing incest. The complainant in the case was his adopted daughter.

The offending occurred when the complainant was 19 years old.

According to the facts presented before the Court, the offending took place in March 2014 when the offender forcefully committed the crime on two different occasions. The offender’s wife was away on both nights when the offending occurred.

The offender admitted to the police that he had given a custom leaf to his adopted daughter to drink when she no longer saw her period, which she later saw after taking custom leaf.

The offender was serving a sentence at the time of this decision of the Court for sexual offending against his biological daughter, which saw an uplift of 6 months imprisonment added to the start point.

Justice Viran Trief outlined the aggravating factors that include serious breach of trust, offending within the victim’s home, the offending was repeated, the use of violence and threat to stop her from reporting, the offending was planned when the offender’s wife was away, and the man exposed the girl to the risk of sexually transmitted infection and pregnancy.

The Court took into consideration the offender’s early guilty plea and reduced the sentence by 33% from the starting point of 7 years.

The offender’s pre-sentence report showed that he had performed a custom ceremony as reconciliation to the victim and their family, which involved a pig, 5 red mats with a value of VT5,000 and food crops.

This resulted in the deduction of 2 months from the sentence.

The Court decided that the sentence would not be suspended as the sexual offending was serious by a parent against his own child.