A 51-year-old father was sent to prison for two years after he admitted to raping his biological daughter at Ohlen Area, Port Vila.
The father in this case could not be named as it may identify the victim.
Chief Justice Vincent Lunabek said that the maximum penalty for incest has been increased from 10 years to 15 years imprisonment and the new penalty has been made effective on February 24, 2017.
He said that the incest punishment has been lifted but it won’t affect the father because the offence occurred before that change.
Chief Justice Lunabek said that the father admitted the offence as alleged that sometimes in July 1 to 30, 2013 in his house the father asked to have sex with her daughter in her room.
He said the daughter told him that she was afraid but her father insisted that he will have sex with her just one time.
He said the daughter accepted and his father had sex with her in her bedroom and at the time she was 23-years-old.
CJ Lunabek said the daughter was counting on him as her father and to be protected by him but instead he used her for his sexual gratifications.
He said that there was a breach of trust as the man was the biological father of the victim and she trusted her but he selfishly for his lustful sexual desires.
He said that the daughter has lost amenity that she enjoyed before in her home and there was a degree of planning as the offence occurred at night when everyone was asleep.
Chief Justice said that there was an age disparity of 28 years that helped aggravate this case.
He adopted five years as the starting point based on its own circumstances and in comparison, with cases referred to by the prosecution counsel and the defense counsel.
He said that the father was a first-time offender and he cooperated with the police and performed a custom reconciliation with his daughter.
He reduced the sentence to six months and further reduced a one third after considering his guilty plea at the first-time opportunity given bringing the sentence down to two years and eight months.
He then gives another eight months allowance for the delay of the prosecution of the case leaving the final sentence of two years imprisonment.
The sentence has been ordered to be served with immediate effect.
CJ Lunabek said that there is more and more prevalent offence, with more and more matters of this type going before the court and imprisonment is necessary for various reasons.
He said an imprisonment will mark the gravity of the offence, to emphasize public disapproval of this offence, to serve as a warning to others and to punish the offenders like this father.
He said that an imprisonment will also serve to protect the women in the society.