BY JENNIFER KUSAPA
A man from Kia in Isabel province has been sentenced to eight months but will only serve four months in jail for indecently assaulting a woman at Varagia in Isabel province on November 28, 2019.
Principal Magistrate Felix Hollison in sentencing the accused said in this present case, there was no physical touching and the court is of the view that this case should be considered and categorised as one of the least serious cases of indecent act, and it should be in the lower end of the spectrum in terms of its severity.
However, this sentence should serve as a warning to each and everyone in this country that exposing one’s private part to another person without the consent of that other person amounts to an indecent act.
“Sexual offences and violence must be contained and curtailed at all costs and respect must be accorded to our vulnerable groups such as children, girls, women and the elderly.
“The defendant must learn from his conviction and his present incarceration for the purposes of his reintegration into the community upon his release in due course.”
Hollison said the offence of indecent act was committed at night when the victim was alone at her kitchen preparing food. She refused the defendant’s sexual advances and went and sat under her house in which he followed her. He pulled out his private part in a manner that is disrespectful, impolite and wrong in custom.
Hollison also said the present case has a few aggravating features and the facts confirmed that no physical touching was involved between the defendant and the complainant, and in the absence of any evidence that the victim was traumatised.
“I am of the view that section 44(1) of the Penal Code [Cap 26] should be invoked and the sentence shall be partially suspended. The defendant shall serve only 4 months in prison whilst the balance of the total sentence shall be suspended for 12 months,” Hollison said
Hollison also said in his sentence that victim’s husband was away in Honiara at the time of the incident. She reported the incident to her husband and her husband took the matter up with the chiefs.
On December 4, 2019, the chiefs and the Crime and Prevention Committee of Varagia Village held a meeting concerning the matter against the defendant. The defendant admitted to what he did to the complainant. The Panel gave a decision for the defendant to pay compensation within the time and there the matter was reported to the Police on March 16, 2020.
The accused also paid compensation of $500 and has reconciled with the victim and her husband.