22nd November 10:19 PM
Mother found guilty of raping and sexually assaulting her 14-year-old daughter
By Vijay Narayan and Dhanjay Deo
Monday 13/11/2017

High Court Judge Justice Salesi Temo has found a 45-year-old mother guilty of raping and sexually assaulting her 14-year-old daughter in Nasinu.

This is the first ever case before the Fijian courts of a mother raping her daughter.

While taking the mitigation and sentencing submissions, Justice Temo asked defence lawyer Namrata Mishra if she agrees with the tariff which is 10 to 16 years prison sentence.

Mishra said that she agrees with the tariff.

Justice Temo said that the courts have been speaking against child rape for so long and to make this worse, a mother is involved.

Mishra submitted that there has been a breach of trust.

Justice Temo then asked Mishra what she has to say about the rape of children in Fiji, adding that he has been giving 16-year sentences to fathers for raping their children.

He made it clear that if people rape, they should not expect mercy from the court.

Justice Temo said that he is also speaking to all the parents when he passes the sentence in this case.

He then asked Mishra if she could help him to make a submission on these issues.

Mishra said we know it’s a first of its kind matter where there is a breach of trust and she requested the court for a lower end of the tariff as her client is a first offender, is 45 years of age and a higher tariff will prevent her from coming back into the society.

She submitted that a sentence of 10 years or less be considered.

Mishra said that the woman is a single mother, has 4 children and the youngest is 10-years-old, she has a 2-year-old grandson, is a house girl earning 50 to 60 dollars a week, has spent 1 year 4 months in remand and is a first offender.

State prosecutor Sujata Lodhia is asking for a 13-year prison sentence as there is a breach of trust, the difference in age is 31 years and nature of the offence is very serious.

Two assessors had earlier found the 45-year-old mother who is charged with raping her daughter in Nasinu, guilty of one count of rape and one count of sexual assault while one assessor had found the woman not guilty of rape and guilty of sexual assault.

The matter was reported at Nakasi Police Station by the 14-year-old girl’s teacher.

The girl had told the teacher that her mother was raping her between 1st January to 5th July last year.

The woman has been remanded and Justice Temo will sentence her at 11.30am tomorrow.

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