A 42-YEAR-OLD father of three, who pleaded guilty to assaulting and raping his pregnant wife, will spend five years behind bars before he is eligible for parole.
High Court in Lautoka judge Justice Aruna Aluthge said even though the man's wife had accepted his apology and that incarceration would mean separation from his family, the laws of the country had to be applied.
He sentenced the Rakiraki man to six months imprisonment for assault causing bodily harm and eight years for rape, the sentences to run concurrently.
The incident happened in October last year after the man confronted his wife, accusing her of engaging in extramarital affairs.
After a heated argument, he punched her on the face before sexually assaulting her.
Justice Aluthge said the sentence would serve to not only denounce the offence and punish the man, but to also send the message that marital rape would not be tolerated.
"When sexual intimacy is egoistically used to despoil marital union in order to advance a felonious urge for coitus by force, violence or intimidation, the court will step in to protect the sanctity of marriage, vindicate justice and protect our laws and State policies," he said.