sex-offender-jailedA 34-year-old man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, after being found guilty of several sexual offences and threatening language against a 22-year-old female.

Willie Namuli threaten to hit Fricka Bule on the head with a rock and throw her body down the rocky slope at Fatumauri Bay in Port Vila if she did not have sexual intercourse with him. This happened after they both consumed alcohol at the Anchor Inn bar on August 23, 2020.

After forcing her to undress and performing oral sex on him, he followed her down the slope as she was looking for a bus to get her away from there, without success. He followed her back to Anchor Inn and they later went home together on a bus with a group of their acquaintances.

On the way, Bule told the driver to let her off at Tagabe Bridge, but Namuli overruled her and told the driver to continue on to Blacksands.

At Blacksands, she tried to escape from Namuli but he ran after her and instructed her rudely to stop.

He swore at her, pulled her hair and threaten to tear up her guts and slice her up to her mouth with a knife, if she attempted to run away again.

He then took her to a deserted house where he forced her to have sexual intercourse with him again. Namuli stopped when someone called out.

The maximum penalty for sexual intercourse without consent is life imprisonment, and 3 years imprisonment for threatening language.

There was no mitigating aspect to the offending.

Aggravating factors include the repeated nature of the sexual assaults, use of knife and a rock to reinforce threats, lack of protection used exposing Bule to unwanted pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted disease, additional indignities imposed on Bule, pre-meditation, the age difference between them as well as the difference in physical size and the quasi breach of trust-they were well known to each other and Namuli considered Bule’s father to be his uncle.

Judge Gustaaf Andrée Wiltens imposed a sentence starting point of 10 years and 6 months imprisonment on a global concurrent basis, for all offences.

The sentence was reduced by 6 months, due to his personal factors.

Namuli has three children with his de facto partner.

He is the sole breadwinner for his family, working as a driver for Port Vila Hardware and has no previous convictions.

“He has already served 15 days in custody prior to being granted bail; and he was incarcerated following the publishing of the verdict on March 2, 2022,” Judge Wiltens stated in the verdict on April 26, 2022.

“To preserve his parole rights, his sentence will accordingly commence as from February 2022.”

Namuli was given 14 days to appeal the sentence.