Man jailed for raping 11 year old niece


A man convicted by a panel of assessors for rape has been sentenced to 12 years in jail.

The defendant appeared before Justice Vui Clarence Nelson for sentencing on four criminal charges; rape, sexual connection, and indecent act involving an 11-year-old girl. 

Justice Nelson said that after hearing all the evidence including the complainant; the defendant and his witnesses, a panel of assessors by unanimous verdict found the defendant guilty of all four charges. 

“I verdict I agree with,” said his honours.

The complainant and the defendant lived in the same house. The complainant’s father is married to the defendant’s sister. 

The defendant was 20 years old at the time of the incident.

The incident occurred in December 2020, when the victim was sleeping in the sitting room, where the defendant raped her in the middle of the night. 

The medical report of the doctor who examined the complainant subsequently at Tuasivi Hospital confirmed that force was used in the intercourse. 

Justice Nelson pointed out that the pain and shock of such an experience on an 11½-year-old girl must have been quite overwhelming.

“No doubt its lingering effects and experience can last a lifetime.” 

To determine which Band and where therein lies, Justice Nelson said the appropriate starting point for a sentence for rape involves consideration of the “intrinsic seriousness of the offending” such as the defenselessness of the complainant who was asleep in the same room as the defendant, and her much younger siblings; the evidence showing that her parents were asleep in a closed bedroom elsewhere in the house.

It also means having regard for the long-term consequences of the offending upon the victim, both mental and physical as outlined in the Victim Impact Report. Also, the fact that there was a breach of trust as the defendant was in a familial relationship by marriage to the complainant. 

The defendants offending is further aggravated by the very young age of the complainant, she was then 11 years and 4 months. The age gap between her and the defendant is about 9 years. 

The court also cannot overlook the fact that this offense was committed in the family home, a place where all young children including the complainant were entitled to feel safe, secure, and protected. 

Also, there is no evidence of any sympathy or attempt to apologise to the complainant in the subsequent days and this offending according to the evidence before the court only came to light when the complainant told an aunty about it subsequently.