A 26-year-old man who tricked a young girl and threatened her for sex with a knife on the night of Independence Day last year, has been given 9 years and 10 months’ imprisonment.
The young man used the girl’s boyfriend phone and rang her while she was celebrating with some friends. He told her his boyfriend has passed out from drinking too much alcohol and instructed her to meet at two different locations. She promptly left where she was and went to meet them.
She went to the first location but could not find them. She then went to the next location as instructed. While she was searching at the area, the man approached and took her into a yard, which he claimed was his and forcefully performed sexual acts on her.
He used a knife to make her submit to his sexual demands, threatened her to be quiet and to do as he asked. He admitted slapping her face causing temporary injuries. He also instructed her not to report the assault to the police.
According to the verdict, a subsequent medical examination confirmed abrasions and bruises on the girl’s knees, her back, her neck was swollen and bruised, and there were additional internal abrasions.
The young man pleaded guilty to sexual intercourse without consent and intentional assault in court.
The maximum sentence for sexual intercourse without consent is life imprisonment and for intentional assault is 5 years’ imprisonment.
There were no mitigating aspects of the offending. Some of the many aggravating factors include deception, threatening, repeated instruction not to make any sound and report the matter to police, use of knife to reinforce threats, repeated violence, physical injuries inflicted, taking away the victim’s virginity and lack of protection used, exposing the victim to sexually transmitted disease and unwanted pregnancy.
Having considered the aggravating factors, Supreme court Judge Gustaaf Andrée Wiltens gave the young man a sentence starting point of 14 years’ imprisonment. His sentence was later reduced due to his prompt guilty pleas and personal factors, such as being in a de facto relationship with two young children. He has no previous convictions.
Judge Wiltens stated in the verdict that the offending was callous, cruel and barbaric thus, a condign sentence is required to hold the defendant accountable.
He said the sentence cannot be suspended due to the seriousness of the offending and type of criminal conduct involved. The defendant’s sentence commenced on August 1, 2021, when he was incarcerated.
SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST