Stepfather sentenced

“YOU cannot be forgiven for what you had done to this child who was your stepdaughter.”

These were the words of High Court judge Justice Sunil Sharma while sentencing a man convicted of raping his stepdaughter with special needs to 14 years and seven months imprisonment at the High Court in Lautoka yesterday.

The 30-year-old man was earlier convicted of one count of rape and one count of criminal intimidation.

The incident happened on June 14, 2015, after the complainant’s mother left home for work and the accused came home from work.

The stepfather had sent the complainant’s brothers to buy sweets from the shop and committed the offence while he was with the complainant at home.

He later threatened the complainant with a cane knife, and told her he would chop her if she told anyone about what he had done to her.

The complainant reported the matter to her schoolteacher the next day and the incident was brought to the attention of the Social Welfare Department and the police.

Justice Sharma told the accused he had breached the trust of the complainant by his actions.

He also told the accused he had planned to commit the act.

“You have committed very serious offences on an unsuspecting, vulnerable and special needs child,” Justice Sharma said.

“You have not only scarred the victim’s life forever, but you have brought shame to the sanctity of the relationship. It is unacceptable to note the manner in which you had breached the trust of this child and no amount of repentance will bring back what she had lost.”

The accused will be eligible for parole after serving 12 years.

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