Two men have been sent to prison for stripping, whipping, raping and filming a girl, claiming they were correcting her over an affair.
Philip Huri was charged with two counts of Unlawful Sexual Intercourse (Counts 1 and 2), and a joint charge with the second and third defendants of Unlawful Sexual Intercourse with the complainant who was under 13 years (Count 3).
Barry Bati was charged separately with an offence of Intentional Assault Causing Temporary Injuries (Counts 4 and 7) and an offence of Act of Indecency with a young person (Count 6). He was jointly charged with the first and third defendants in Count 3.
Radol Huri was charged separately with Intentional Assault Causing Temporary Injuries (Count 5) and jointly with the first and second defendants, in Count 3.
Justice Daniel Fatiaki said the trio pleaded guilty on October 12, 2018 on their separate charges but denied the joint charge laid against them.
A separate charge in count 4 of Intentional Assault Causing Temporary Injuries against the second defendant only, was nulled by the prosecutor, leaving Count 3 the only remaining charge which was tried.
At the end of the prosecution’s evidence on Count 3, the Court upheld a ‘no case’ submission and the defendants were found not guilty. The court then formally entered convictions on each defendants’ guilty plea as follows:
Philip was convicted on two counts of Unlawful Sexual Intercourse With a Child under 13 years, Bati was convicted on one count of Act of Indecency With a Young Person and once count of Intentional Assault Causing Temporary Injuries.
Justice Fatiaki said Radol was convicted on one Intentional Assault Causing Temporary Injuries.
He said that undisputed facts of the case began with the complainant leaving her home in 2016 to live with the Huri family.
She claims for the first year she was well cared for, however her mistreatment started in early 2017.
On Easter weekend 2017, Philip who was living in the same house as the victim, had sexual intercourse with her twice. He also admitted having sexual intercourse with her in October.
In the October incident, they were caught by Bati’s wife but no charge was laid for that particular incident. Instead the incident was reported to Bati and Radol Huri who, quite unfairly and separately, administered summary whippings on the complainant only.
The judge said that furthermore, in Bati’s case, he made the victim stripped before whipping her with a tree branch.
He said the whippings by Bati and Radol Huri are alleged to have occurred in September 2017. This is five months after another incident that happened on Easter and a month before the last incident in early October 2017.
He stated that the amended September date which the prosecution accepted is not easily explained. Whatever the correct date, Radol filmed the beating by Bati on a tablet.
“Although both defendants claimed they were correcting or disciplining the complainant for having sexual intercourse with her ‘brother’ and disrespecting the home in which she was staying in at the time, neither were related to her or had any guardianship responsibility for the complainant”, he said.
“I also note that the first defendant who was an active participant in the offending act, was not similarly whipped as he should have been, in fairness.
“Furthermore, there can be no justification whatsoever for stripping the complainant naked before whipping her and for recording it on video.
“Both defendants accepted as much in their police caution interviews when they said it was not correct”.
He said the personal and mitigating factors of Radol and Bati showed that they have had little formal schooling.
After his final assessment, he sentenced Radol and Bati to 10 months imprisonment and ordered the sentence to be served with immediate effect.
The judge sentenced Philip to 29 months imprisonment, suspended for three years but ordered him to serve a sentence of supervision of 12 months with a special condition that he must actively participate in and complete any rehabilitation programme(s) that the probation service requires him to undertake, especially modules on sexual offending, victim awareness and ‘Jios blong good laef’.
SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST