A 42-year-old man has been sentenced to imprisonment after he was found guilty on charges of sexual intercourse without consent, domestic violence and interfering with a witness.

Justice Andrée Wiltens set an end sentence of seven years imprisonment and imposed the sentence on the three charges of sexual intercourse and imposed 12 months sentences on all other charges, which are to be served concurrently.

No suspension of sentence was considered because the judge says the offending was too serious for suspension.

The case was between the defendant and his wife of 13 years, before they split in 2016.

The charges of sexual intercourse without consent related to the man forcing his wife to have sex when she did not want to.

The first incident was in 2007, four years after their marriage.

This resulted in her husband hitting and forcing her to have sexual intercourse.

Then in 2012 the second incident occurred, where they had argued during the day and the husband later at night wanting to have sexual intercourse, which she refused, and was threatened with a hammer. Then she submitted out of fear.

Then the third incident occurred in 2017 under similar circumstances of threatening by the defendant.

On the issue of domestic violence, when the wife ran away from home in 2016, the defendant called her and threatened to kill both of their daughters if she did not return home.

The complainant then returned home where she was assaulted with an iron bar and small black handled knife.

In August 2017 after sharing a bottle of wine, the defendant persuaded the complainant to go with him to Anchor Inn.

There the complainant had a chance meeting a male from her home which they shook hands and said ‘hi’ to each other.

Her husband then assaulted the man from his wife’s island before assaulting her. This resulted in her falling and getting a serious injury to the head. She became unconscious.

In relation to the charge of interfering with a witness, the defendant was in custody and was contacting the complainant via telephone just before the case went to trial.

The first time in 2017 he talked to their daughters but after that between December 2017 and May 2018 he would ring every Friday, when he can manage.

During these calls he told his wife what to say when she went to court. He instructed her to tell the court that her statements to the police were not true.

Based on the submissions filed, the court considered a starting point of five years  for sexual intercourse without consent with an uplift for the other charges.

In terms of mitigating factors, the court was told by the legal counsel representing the defendant that he was 42 years old, with a family and had not previous convictions as well as being remorseful.

When taking plea, the defendant pleaded guilty to the three charges of domestic violence, but not at the first available opportunity, was taken into consideration by the court.

The man was given 14 days to appeal.


SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST