The Supreme Court has sentenced four taxi and bus drivers to imprisonment for kidnapping Florence Lengkon to a meeting, where she was assaulted in March this year.
Pierre Noal, Ben Koro, Glen Kovoi and Michael Samuel were sentenced yesterday morning for one count of kidnapping and one count of unlawful assembly each.
Justice James Geoghegan sentenced Noal with the highest jail term of two years for kidnapping and nine months of unlawful assembly.
The other three convicts, Koro, Kovoi, and Samuel were sentenced to one year and nine months each for kidnapping and nine months each for unlawful assembly.
Comparing the two charges, kidnapping is the most serious offence with a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.
The four men were part of a group of seven bus and taxi drivers who were originally charged with kidnapping, aiding and abetting kidnapping, unlawful assembly, intentional assault, and threats to kill.
After pleas the defendants continue to drop out of the case until the President of the Taxi Association was the last defendant to be acquitted from the charge of unlawful assembly.
The four men who were sentenced yesterday plead guilty to the two charges and were convicted accordingly without going to trial.
Meanwhile the survivor of the incident, Ms Lengkon is focusing on the positive changes that the incident had brought about not only for her personally the stance against violence in general.
“As much as this has affected me emotionally and physically in a negative way, there has been positive outcome in which domestic violence awareness has been strengthen by being brought out of the shadows to light,” Lengkon told Daily Post after the sentencing of her assailants.
“Hopefully the strength that I have gained by standing strong against something I believe in will give hope and strength to other women that also suffer from this and all kinds of violence.” READ MORE
SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST