IT is seven years behind bars for a man convicted of raping a relative's girlfriend last year.
The High Court in Suva sentenced the 39-year-old man yesterday, labelling his act as one of a gross breach of trust.
Justice Salesi Temo said the complainant and her boyfriend, who were staying together, went out for a few drinks with friends and the accused.
Justice Temo said the couple returned home and went to sleep. The accused, who was living with the couple, returned later, found the complainant sleeping and proceeded to rape her.
He said the complainant woke up in the middle of the act.
Justice Temo said the accused then covered her mouth to ensure she didn't scream.
As an aggravating factor, Justice Temo said there was breach of trust because the rapist was the victim's boyfriend's uncle.
He said the accused showed utter disregard for the victim's dignity by committing the offence, adding that rape was the worst form of sexual offence that could be committed against a person.
As a mitigating factor, the judge considered the time the accused spent in remand.
The court then sentenced the man to seven years in jail.
He becomes eligible for parole after serving five years.