Judgement day for alleged rapist soon
A MAN accused of raping his wife’s 13-year-old niece will know his fate on November 26 when the High Court will deliver its verdict.
Counsels made their closing submissions into the case yesterday.
The man in this 30s was accused of raping his wife’s niece at the Fishing Village in East Honiara March this year.
The court earlier heard that the accused and his wife had an argument at their home at Lio Creek, East Honiara, before the accused took off with the young child to Fishing Village.
The alleged victim followed her aunty and grandmother to fetch the child from the accused when the incident took place.
Prosecution called three witnesses including the alleged victim while the accused defended himself in court.
Justice Stephen Pallaras further remanded the accused to await his fate in custody.
Michael Holara of Public Solicitor’s Office represents the accused while standing on behalf of the state is Ricky Iomea of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Two jailed for manslaughter
TWO men convicted of manslaughter charges in relation to the death of a man at Poitete Forestry Camp in Western Province have been each jailed for six months.
Bentley Biara and Tubara Biara were convicted of manslaughter while co-accused Sam Dagi and Montros Ngoro were found guilty of murder.
Dagi and Ngoro were already sent to serve life imprisonment after their conviction recently in the High Court.
The men were involved in the murder of a young man at the Poitete Forestry Camp in 2010.
Justice James Apaniai found Ngoro to be the one who actually did the stabbing with the help of others.
Forestry ranger, Ngoro earlier accused the deceased of swearing at him.
It was when the deceased denied swearing at him, Ngoro went and picked up some of his relatives and returned to stab with him a knife.
The men were represented by private lawyers Nuatali Tongarutu, John Smith Pitabelama and Darcy Oshea and Benham Ifuto’o of Public Solicitor’s Office.
Ricky Iomea of the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions Office appeared for the crown.
Taxi driver guilty of rape
THE High Court yesterday found a taxi driver guilty of raping his female passenger three times.
In passing sentence Justice Stephen Pallaras found accused Eric Freeman to be a totally unreliable and untruthful witness.
“His evidence was, to put it charitably, totally improbable,” Justice Pallaras said.
“It was based on a view of his abilities to identify ‘the kind of girl who will want to go for a ride’, views which simultaneously succeed in being offensive, sexist, degrading, arrogant, outmoded and bordering on misogynistic.”
He said Freeman clearly justified his actions on the basis that the complainant was the "type" of girl who deserved and wanted him to pick her up, wanted him to keep her a virtual prisoner in his taxi and wanted him to treat her in that degrading fashion.
“While there are still men who are mired in this antiquated view of women, no females young or old are safe.”
He said Freeman’s evidence was evasive, contradictory, and delivered with an arrogance and obvious disdain for the complainant and is not an impressive witness.
The victim stopped the taxi at Rove between 4 pm to 5pm on a Saturday of November 13, 2010.
According to her evidence, she wanted to be dropped off at the Honiara City Counsel area where she will catch a bus to her aunty’s house at Tuvaruhu.
On the way, she said the driver asked her if she wanted to go for a ride, offered her a can of beer and $100 which she refused.
The court heard when Freeman did not stop at the Honiara City Council, the girl told him to stop at the National Referral Hospital to see a sick relative.
Freeman, however, did not stop at the hospital but drove all the way up to Henderson near the airport area.
There the court heard he raped the victim three times on that occasion.
Justice Pallaras found Freeman guilty of three counts of rape.
Mitigation and sentencing submission will be made on November 22.
Freeman was represented in court by Hubert Fugui of the Public Solicitor’s office.
Andrew Kelesi appeared for the crown.
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