23-yo faces rape and false pretence

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BY JENNIFER KUSAPA

A man who claimed to be a doctor and a lawyer has appeared in court over rape and false pretence charges.

Public Prosecutor Jonathan Auga Tuesday told the court via zoom that investigations are almost complete, with only two statements yet to be collected from the complainants.

Prosecution also confirmed the accused is yet to be legally represented by any lawyer.

Principal Magistrate Felix Hollison then adjourned the case to March 11 for mention and made directions for prosecution to disclose statements to the office of the Public Solicitor.

The accused, when given the chance to speak, told court that he is surprised to know that one of the victims has accused him of rape.

“We were together for a week before she reported me to the police for raping her,” the accused told court yesterday.

Meanwhile Hollison advised the accused that he will relay his stories to his lawyer.

This accused also was alleged of going around fooling people in Honiara and obtaining money from them.

The accused is a 28-year-old male from Western Province and he is charged with one count of rape and two counts of false pretence.

The first allegation was an incident of rape that occurred in October 2021.

Prosecution said on October 15, 2021, the accused was driving a caldina car along the Point Cruz Road when the victim walked home from work.

Prosecution said the accused was in front of the old ANZ building at Point Cruz, when he saw the victim walked past, he stopped by her side in the black caldina car, he lowered the left window screen of the front left door of his car and asked the victim if she was heading to the market. The victim replied that she was heading that way.

The accused allegedly invited the victim into the front seat of his car but instead the victim got into and sat at the back seat. The victim did not know the defendant therefore felt strange when she encountered him. Inside the cab, the victim asked the defendant if he knew her and he replied yes, he knew her. The victim told him that she did not even know him. The defendant told the victim that she lived at Vura 3 which was right. The defendant drove off then.

The defendant told the victim that his name was Shane. At the market bus stop, the victim was about to get out of the car and there the defendant asked for her mobile contact. The victim gave him her mobile phone number and the defendant made a missed call to her cell phone.

On October 18, 2021, between 5pm and 7pm, the defendant known to the victim as Shane contacted her and asked of her whereabouts. The victim told him that she was on her way from the office to the Main Market bus stop. Not long, the defendant reached her and picked her up again in his car. Both travelled up in the easterly direction.

On reaching the SDA Bus Stop at Kukum area, the victim informed the defendant that she would be dropped off there. The defendant refused and insisted that they both continued up to Panatina Plaza. So, he continued driving up to Panatina Plaza and stopped besides the fence of the Kausimae Building.

There he told the victim that he was a doctor at the National Referral Hospital, working at the Theatre Operation Department and then he moved over to the back seat where the victim was sitting. He later allegedly raped her.

The second incident is a false pretence incident that occurred on the night of February 7 2022, the defendant pulled over along the road side at Lunga and forced the complainant and her sister to board the car for a ride.

On the way, the defendant started to introduce himself and claimed that he was one of the Wickham family and that his name was “Shane Wickham”, 23 years of age and was the youngest officer at the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) in Honiara.

He also claimed to have resided at the Prime Minister’s area at GBR and claimed to be part PNG and also told the complainant and her sister that his mother sent him some money through Western Union (WU) for him to rent a room at AJ City Mall. He claimed this was where he would operate a Phone shop and owns a RAV-4, Caldina and a short boot car.

The complainant was about to drop off at Kukum, the accused asked for their contacts, the complainant’s sister gave her number to him.

Later that day, the complainant’s sister received a call from the defendant identifying himself as Shane Wickham. He asked them if they could help him with an amount of $1000, saying he already had $3000.

He claimed that he was running out of cash to pay the charges of his container at the Solomon Islands Ports Authority because if he was late to pay, extra fee charges will be charged to his container, he promised them that he will refund their money.

The complainant believed him and gave him $1000 in front of Jasmin shop along Vura road in Honiara.

Next day, the defendant then called the complainant and her sister and asked them again if they could help him with another $500.

However, they decided to give him only $100. He drove to the same location and collected the money.

The third incident occurred on February 11, 2022 between 2 and 3pm, the defendant contacted the complainant’s mobile phone and introduced himself as Lawyer Willie.

The complainant on this matter is a Correctional officer,

The allegation said that the accused called her if she could give him of $1000 so that he could pay for his container charges and will present a new brand-mobile phone to her in return, the complainant told him that she did not have such amount but only got $500.

Not long after the phone conversation, the defendant arrived to the complainant at Rove Correctional Center Headquarters, picked the complainant and heading up to SIEA office at Ranadi where the complainant took an amount of $500 and gave it to him.

Three days later as promised by the defendant that he will be refunding the complainant’s money.

She contacted him and asked for her refunds but the defendant started to make some excuses.

She kept on contacting his mobile phone but he ignored to answer her calls and avoided himself from the complainant.


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