Manager of tourist lodge sentenced for indecency with a guest

A 53-year-old manager of a tourist lodge in Vanuatu has been sentenced for indecency with a 12-year-old more than four years ago.

The child was a guest at that time with her family.

The man touched her inappropriately more than once. The second offence happened when she was alone.

The accused pleaded guilty in court.

His 1 year and 9 months sentence was suspended for a period of two years on the condition that he commits no further offence within that period.

If he is convicted of any offence, he will be taken into custody to serve his sentence of imprisonment and penalty imposed for further offending.

He was sentenced to complete 100 hours of community work.

Suspended sentence for arsonist

A 34-year-old man from Northwest Malekula who set fire to a house at Antawak village several years ago was sentenced to 1 year 6 months.

However, Judge Viran Molisa Trief of the Supreme Court gave him a 2 year suspension on the condition that he commits no further offence within that period.

Micky Paul Soulny burnt down another man’s house with all his belongings inside the house. The house was unoccupied at that time.

The maximum penalty for arson is 10 years’ imprisonment.

Soulny was given a 3 year imprisonment start sentence for his offence.

His sentence was reduced by 25% for his guilty plea.

He was given another 25% reduction due to personal factors, such as having no previous convictions and has performed a custom reconciliation with the complainant involving a compensation of VT160, 000 and VT1, 000 fine to the chief and community.

Soulny is in a de facto relationship and has three children. He supports his family through gardening, market and kava sales, and operating his chainsaw. He also takes care of his elderly parents and is the chairman of the church committee.

Judge Trief concluded that it is not appropriate to make him suffer immediate imprisonment in the view of his family’s and community support, his compensation payment, his prior clean record and prospects for rehabilitation.

Soulny was also sentenced to complete 60 hours of community work.