Supreme Court increases man’s sentence for the rape of his biological children

A FATHER who repeatedly raped his daughters had his jail sentence increased after a failed appeal to the Supreme Court of Fiji.

In a judgment issued yesterday, the Supreme Court, Fiji’s highest court, increased his prison sentence from 13 years to 17 years with a non-parole period of 16 years.

The Supreme Court President, Chief Justice Anthony Gates, said the increasing prevalence of these crimes, which were characterised by disturbing aggravating circumstances, meant the court had to consider widening the tariff for rape against children now to range between 11 to 20 years imprisonment.

The man pleaded guilty in 2015 to raping his two biological daughters since 2006. The High Court sentenced him to 16 years imprisonment with a non-parole period of 15 years.

He appealed to the Fiji Court of Appeal which had reduced his sentence to 13 years imprisonment with a non-parole period of 11 years.

He appealed to the Supreme Court to lower his sentence.

Justice Gates said much would depend upon the aggravating and mitigating circumstances, consideration of remorse, early pleas and finally time spent in remand.

Justice Gates said the increased tariff represents the denunciation of the courts in the strongest terms.

He added that the man was convicted of six counts of rape and one count of indecent assault and had pleaded guilty in the High Court.

Justice Gates said in this case, a father preyed on his two biological daughters in their home and the facts and features of the case were very disturbing.

He added that the father used and abused his daughters without regard to their childhood.

His first daughter was only six-years-old when he started raping her and the second daughter was 11-years-old.

Justice Gates said there had been prolonged sexual abuse of children, a campaign of unstoppable rape on the vulnerable.

Justice Gates also stressed that the man tried to get one of the daughters to take marijuana at the time of the rape and that there were threats to kill the mother if she interfered.

The Supreme Court, which was presided by Justice Gates, Justice Saleem Marsoof and Justice Chandra Ekanayake quashed the sentence by the Court of Appeal and sentenced the man to 17 years and nine months imprisonment.

A non-parole period of 16 years has been set.

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