A 34-year-old father has been jailed for two years for indecently assaulting a four-year-old girl in her own home.
The man whose name and details are suppressed to protect the young victim was sentenced by Justice Lesatele Rapi Vaai in the Supreme Court on Monday.
Lawyer Leone Sua-Mailo appeared on behalf of the National Prosecution Office while lawyer Shane Wulf represented the accused man.
According to the Police summary of facts, the accused man was working for the victim’s grandfather.
On 20 May 2016, the accused man was at the victim’s house around 3 to 4pm. He saw the victim heading to the restroom and he followed her inside. He locked the door and indecently assaulted her there.
When the victim’s mother woke up, she noticed that her daughter was not in the room. About five minutes later, she ran back inside the room looking scared and shaky.
When her mother asked her where she had been, she told her mother what had happened and what the accused had done to her in the restroom.
The victim’s mother confronted the accused and reported the matter to the Police on the same day.
On 13 June 2016, the accused pleaded guilty to the charge.
Prior to sentencing, defence lawyer, Shane Wulf, asked the Court for leniency. He said his client is the main breadwinner for his family and he was remorseful for what he had done.
He said the offence was unfortunate and it was a stupid mistake but he is willing to accept any penalty imposed by the Court. Mr. Wulf added that his client is a first time offender. In response, Justice Lesatele made it clear to the accused that he could be jailed for life for this kind of offence.
However, he said he accepted the recommendation by the Prosecution to take three years as a starting point.
Justice Lesatele noted that the accused took the chance when he saw the little girl was alone going to the restroom. He said it seems like he was watching her every move.