A SEXUAL offence against an elderly man has been discontinued in the High Court recently due to his deteriorating health.
The accused was charged with one count of sexual intercourse with a child under 15.
The prosecution alleged that that elder had sexual intercourse with a six -year-old girl in East Honiara in 2017.
The accused is relative of the girl’s mother.
The prosecution had recently entered a Nolle Prosequi (to no longer prosecute) to discontinue with his case after finding difficulties in dealing with him.
The court previously tried to arraign the accused but found he was unable to hear or understand the charge that was put to him.
His lawyer then took him to the National Referral Hospital to test his hearing and it was confirmed he was permanently deaf.
The accused’s health is also deteriorating. The court heard that he needs several breaks a day to rest and needs assistance to move around.
Given the nature of the offence, the prosecution was of the view it would also be difficult for a sign language interpreter to interpret the court proceedings to him.
Given all these difficulties, the prosecution was also of the view that it would be unfair to the accused for the case to continue in court.
For these reasons and the fact that the accused had already spent two years and four months in pre-trial custody, which the prosecution viewed as enough time behind bars, they (prosecution) entered a Nolle Prosequi in respect of the charge against him.
The accused was in his late 60’s when he allegedly sexually abused the little girl.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN
Solomon Star, Honiara