A 59-year-old grandfather from Tanna has received a suspended sentence for having sexual intercourse without consent, an offence he committed 10 years ago.

Tom Iotil was sentenced to 3 years and 6 months imprisonment but received a suspended sentence when the nature of his crime and his character were considered.

Justice Viran Trief stated, “I order the suspension of the execution of the imprisonment sentence on the condition that Mr. Iotil commits no further offence within the next 12 months.”

He was given a community work order of 100 hours .

Iotil is warned that if he committed an offence in the next 12 months and is convicted, he would be required to serve this sentence of 3 years 6 months imprisonment in addition to any other penalty that may be imposed on him for further offending.

The court heard that 10 years ago, in 2009, the defendant gave Vt5,000 to his victim and forced the victim to have sexual intercourse with her in the garden.

The money was purposely to stop the woman from reporting to anyone about what had happened.

His victim, whom the court was told that she would call the old man her grandfather, has subsequently lived on Efate in order to put distance between herself and the defendant.

But the accused continued to remind the woman until 2017 that she must no tell anyone about what had happened.

Iotil had no previous convictions and was remorseful for his actions. But prosecution submitted that if he was truly remorseful, he would not have subjected his victim to the re-trauma of giving evidence in trial.

He has not performed any custom ceremony.

Iotil has 14 days to appeal the sentence.