A 24-year-old man who raped his 18-year-old niece when she was a student at Santo East School last year was given a 4 years and 4 months jail term.

Owen Aru and his niece were both living with his older sister at Bombua area when he raped her while drunk on the night of November 3.

According to the court summary, Aru asked her to follow him to the store and on their way he grabbed her towards some elephant grass and forced her to have sex with him. The victim tried to escape but he held her hand, she tried to call out but he blocked her mouth with his hands.

Aru threatened to kill the victim if she tells anyone about what happened. When she went home she lied to her grandfather that she was with her friend because she was scared.

On November 9, the defendant came home drunk and begun threatening his family. He told his sister he will go to prison, but first he will kill five of them and will also burn their house.

He also said he had not meant to rape his niece but because he was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana.

The defendant admitted his offending to the police.

After considering the aggravating factors, Judge Viran Molisa Trief of the Supreme Court gave him a sentence start point of 7 years’ imprisonment for committing the offences of sexual intercourse without consent and threat to kill under the Penal Code Act.

His sentence was reduced by one third following his early guilty pleas.

Judge Trief further reduced his sentence by 4 months due to his personal factors including his youth.

He has no previous convictions and his willing to perform a custom ceremony with the complaints.

Mr. Aru’s sentence is backdated to when he was taken into custody on November 10. The sentence is concurrent for both offences.

“The end sentences will not be suspended as there are no exceptional circumstances warranting suspension.

“An immediate custodial sentence must be imposed for this serious sexual offending,” stated Judge Trief.

Aru was given 14 days to appeal the sentence.

_______________________________________________________________________

SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST