BY JENNIFER KUSAPA
PRINCIPAL Magistrate Augustine Aulanga has imposed a one-year suspended jail term on a juvenile found guilty of attempting to rape a six-year-old girl in October 2020.
Aulanga in his sentencing highlighted that the offence of attempted rape under section 136F (3) (b) of the Penal Code (Amendment) (Sexual Offences) Act 2016 is a serious offence. It has a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment.
And given that maximum penalty is 15 years reflects the seriousness of this offence which is linked to the need for deterrence, Aulanga said.
However, Aulanga also explained that since the case involves a juvenile offender, it is expected that the sentence to be imposed will be substantially reduced or different to that of an adult offender.
This is because of the trite law that requires the court to impose a rehabilitative sentence than incarceration when it comes to sentencing of a juvenile offender.
The incident occurred on 9 October 2020.
Prosecution said the victim and the accused are relatives and on that date of offending, the victim and three other little girls went to swim at a nearby river.
On their way, the three girls followed the main road while the victim followed a short-cut route.
On her way, she met the offender who asked her to go into the bush with him.
She refused to follow him.
He said that he would press her neck if she refused to follow him.
He pulled her into the bush and she followed him since she was afraid of him.
Inside the bush, he folded her skirt and was about to have sex with her when the other little girls disturbed him.
His attempt to have sex with her was unsuccessful.
Aulanga said one of the aggravating factors is that this offender used threat to press her neck as a means of forcing the victim into the bush.
“I also accept that he used force by pulling her into the bush which is another aggravating factor.
“The victim is a six-year-old girl so she is very young and that the offender is related to her as her uncle.
“The presence of these aggravating factors makes this offending quite serious,” Aulanga said.
Aulanga also said that he took into account the accused’s guilty plea, a first-time offender, he is very cooperative with the police and the court all throughout his case, his remorse and being a juvenile.
Therefore, after considering the mitigation and assessing the facts provided before the court, Magistrate Aulanga imposed a sentence of one year imprisonment on the accused of one count of attempted rape.
He further made directions that the term will be fully suspended for one year on the conditions that he is to be of good behaviour and not to be charged by the RSIPF with any new criminal offences during this operational period.
Monica Rehomora of the Office of the Director Public Prosecution appears for the crown while Sholto Rodney Manebosa of the Public Solicitor’s office represent the accused.