THE 53-year-old man who confessed to having sexual intercourse with his four-year-old granddaughter in February has been sentenced to eight years imprisonment.
The man who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim was sentenced after pleading guilty to one count of having sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 13 years.
Chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer during the sentencing in Auki on Saturday told the accused that his home as a grandparent should be a place of pride for him and his children and is supposed to be a place of safety and security.
He said the accused, however, in this case, had breached that trust and confidence and turned his home into a crime scene.
“You were in a fatherly role and figure to her and she rightly expected and trusted you to take good care of her but instead you betrayed that trust and confidence in you as a grandfather and allowed your feelings and desires to take control of you,” Sir Albert said.
“You took advantage of your position and sexually abused her.
“You have caused needless distress and trauma upon the child and whatever emotional and psychological damage may have been caused will take many long years to heal,” he added.
The incident happened in February this year when the mother of the victim was away in her bush garden.
The victim’s mother later found out about the incident when the victim complained of irritation and pain in her private body part.
Sir Albert had imposed a starting point of eight years without the aggravating or mitigating features.
After adding the aggravating features, the sentence increased to 11 years.
However, it was then reduced to eight years to reflect the accused’s guilty plea and the mitigating features on his behalf.
The time the accused spent in custody was also taken into account.
Sir Albert said courts have the duty to protect the helpless, the weak, and those who are vulnerable, by ensuring that an immediate custodial sentence is imposed in this type of offending.
“It also has a duty to rebuild the walls of sexual purity and piety that have broken down in our nation and send out a clear message that those who commit this type of offense must expect to be punished and a lengthy prison sentence imposed.”
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN