53-year-old John Nikahi has been sentenced to 7 years and 4 months’ imprisonment, after being found guilty for having sexual intercourse with his stepdaughter.
This was the second time that the minor was abused by her step-father.
Nikahi was previously convicted of unlawful sexual intercourse with his then 9-year-old step-daughter and sentenced to 5 years and 4 months imprisonment.
He was released on parole, which continued until December 2017. The recent offending occurred only some 15 months later.
The repeated offence happened in 2019 when he forcefully had sexual intercourse with her several times. He told his stepdaughter not to tell her mother. At that time, Nikahi was 51 years old and his stepdaughter was 19.
The matters came to light following a dispute between Mr. Nikahi and his wife, which involved assault, leading to the police becoming ` involved.
Sexual intercourse without consent has a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Nikahi was given a sentence starting point of 8 years’ imprisonment.
Aggravating factors considered were as follows: Gross breach of trust, completely undermining the relation of stepfather and stepdaughter, instruction the victim not to report the matter to her mother, pre-meditation involved, repeated nature of offending, offending occurred at Joana’s home where she should be able to feel safe, lack of protection used exposing the victim to sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy and effects of the offending on the victim as this was the second time.
His sentence was reduced by 2 months due personal circumstances. He was given a sentence uplift of 6 months imprisonment due to the repeat nature of offending.
Nikahi is unemployed with three children. He previously worked as a security guard and has some skills in gardening. He is said to have good relations with his wider family and community.
His sentence commenced from when he was incarcerated on September 2020.
His sentence could not be suspended due to the seriousness of the offending and type of criminal conduct involved.
He was given 14 days to appeal.
SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST