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Jail for 'witchdoctor'

Torika Tokalau
Friday, April 12, 2013

A VEGETABLE vendor who claimed to be a witchdoctor and raped a 25-year-old woman who sought treatment from him for pimples was jailed for 13 years yesterday.

He was sentenced in the High Court in Suva by judge Justice Paul Madigan who ordered that he serve 11 years before being eligible to apply for parole.

Justice Madigan said the offender showed no remorse for his deeds whatsoever when giving evidence and appeared to the court to enjoy telling of his invocation of spirits and his manipulation of the victim.

On November 24, 2010, the complainant and her aunt approached the offender, seeking his services as a witchdoctor for an acne problem. He told them the acne could only be cured if the complainant slept with him.

On November 28 around 1am, he raped the complainant several times in her home when he visited them for what he said was the first session of treatment.

During mitigation, the offender's lawyer, Dinesh Sharma, said his client was the sole breadwinner for his wife and three children. Mr Sharma said his client's relatives were in Vanua Levu, so there was no one to look after his family if he was imprisoned.

He also said his client held no previous record and asked Justice Madigan to pass a non-custodial sentence.

Justice Madigan said the greatest aggravating feature was the offender's use of subterfuge and deceit in his ploy to have sex with the complainant.

He said further aggravation came from the lack of remorse of the offender as evidenced throughout the trial.

Justice Madigan sentenced him to 15 years imprisonment but because of mitigation factors represented by his family circumstances and his clean record, he reduced the sentence by two years.


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