BY JENNIFER KUSAPA
HIGH Court Judge Justice Maelyn Bird has imposed a nine-year sentence on a 71-year-old man for raping a girl under 15 years of age in 2019.
Justice Bird said the offence of having sexual intercourse with a child under 15 years is very serious in nature.
She said to manifest its seriousness, a maximum sentence of life imprisonment could be imposed by the courts; this will bring home the message that the courts frown upon such offending and they are not tolerated.
She said the accused is convicted of his own guilty plea and the accused is a relative of the victim.
Ms Bird said there was a really big difference on the age in which the accused’s action does not speak well of his character towards children.
“I am also told that there is an abuse of position of trust in your case, the family and community at large expect you take responsibility of the welfare of their children and you have breached the trust placed upon you, from you’re your attitude, you are not someone to be trusted with children,” Bird said.
She also told the accused that he is a repeated offender as in 2012 he was convicted of a rape offence and was sentenced to six years.
“I must say that the court is very concerned about the prevalence of offences of a sexual nature especially sexual assault on children, it is obvious that there is total disregard of the life and total wellbeing of a child. Children have the same rights as adults and they ought to be treated with respect and dignity notwithstanding their age.
“I have heard case like yours and time again and the sentences imposed by the courts do not seem to bring home that such actions and behaviours are not tolerated and condoned by the courts. It is my view that apart from the punishments imposed by the courts, there ought to be other facilities or avenues created by our government to try and curd the increase of sexual assault cases, the increase in such case is alarming in the past years,” Bird said.
Therefore, she imposed nine years imprisonment on the accused.