Rapist, 66, faces 10-year jail time

A 66-YEAR-old man who raped a student in 2005 was initially sentenced for a period of 14 years yesterday.

However, the High Court in Labasa has blamed systemic delays to this case and as such reduced the sentence by four years, resulting in a final sentence of 10 years for three counts of rape with a non-parole period of three years.

High Court judge Justice Thushara Rajasinghe said the man did not contribute to the delay.

“This is systemic delays that have prevented the accused to have his matter heard within a reasonable time, hence, I find that the delay of nearly 10 years have breached the rights of the accused to have his trial heard within a reasonable time,” he said.

“This matter was first initiated in the Magistrates Court on 27th of June, 2008. Subsequent to a protracted delay in the proceedings, the hearing was concluded and judgment was delivered on October 5th 2018.”

The High Court was told that the victim was 17 years old at the time of the incident and lived with the man, who was 53 years of age at that time.

In sentencing, Justice Rajasinghe said the seriousness of the offence warranted such offenders to be dealt with severe and harsh punishment.

“You have breached the trust that the complainant had in you, not only the complainant but her parents also had trusted you and kept her at your house as it was convenient for her to attend school,” he said.

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