All hands on deck against sex crimes on girls: Court

The High Court of Solomon Islands.
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THE court has reiterated that addressing sexual offences in the country requires collaborative effort from all stakeholders.

Chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer, in his recent sentence on a sexual offence case, said while the courts have a duty to ensure there is sufficient general and specific deterrence in the community by the type of sentences that are imposed, it requires the concerted and collaborative effort of all stakeholders in the community to address this deluge in sexual offending against young girls.

“It is shameful that this type of offending is becoming commonplace,” Palmer said.

He said some sexual offences attract maximum sentence of life imprisonment which reflects the level of seriousness and concern with which such type of offence is considered and viewed in the community and the need to protect young girls from other men and themselves.

“The protection of young children is the focus of this type of legislation and the law provides in the case of young children that consent is not a defence.  Sexual intercourse with a child below the age of 15 years does not require lack of consent as an ingredient of the offence

“This is an established principle in the law, that a child below the age of 15 years cannot consent and so the fact of sexual intercourse and the child’s age is sufficient to found a conviction; that is not disputed in this case,” he said. 

He said the courts in the country have repeatedly stated that those who commit this type of offence should expect to be sent to prison.  Each case however is to be treated separately on its merits and an appropriate sentence imposed.