A MAN charged with one count of rape and one count of indecently annoying a person will spend seven years behind bars.
The accused, a 27-year old man, was convicted by the High Court in Lautoka yesterday.
On November 12 last year, the victim, a 15-year old girl who is also related to the accused, was woken up by her grandfather to feed the baby.
The court heard while she was preparing milk the accused approached her and started embracing her before touching her private parts.
Two days later on November 14, the accused dragged the victim to the bedroom and laid her down.
The victim's mother entered the room and saw the accused forcing himself on the victim.
She then reported the matter to the police.
In his statement to police, the accused explained that his actions were done in the process of love making and the victim did not complain until her mother saw them together in the room.
In mitigation, the accused asked the court for a suspended and lenient sentence on the grounds that he was looking after his elderly parents and was the sole breadwinner of the family.
However, judge Justice Sithambarampillay Thurairaja, in sentencing the accused, said he did not wish to suspend the sentence because of the nature of his (accused) offence.
He then sentenced the accused to seven years imprisonment without a non-parole period.
The accused has 30 days to appeal against his sentence.