​Father gets 22 years for persistent sexual abuse

A father of three, from East New Britain Province, has been sentenced to 22 years in prison for the persistent sexual assault of his daughter in Port Moresby.

The Waigani National Court today sentenced the 49-year-old man, who was an IT technician by profession.

He will spend 21 years and 8 months at Bomana after the court deducted time spent in remand (4 months) from the head sentence.

Justice Nicholas Kirriwom, in handing down the court’s sentence, said one parent loses all moral value once he turns on his own child to satisfy his sexual lust.

Even the victim, who is now 17 years old, had to relive the ordeal from 2012 in open court during the trial and Justice Kirriwom said the father could have spared her the embarrassment by pleading guilty to the offence.

He said this because of the overwhelming evidence against the father in the trial that was quite unnecessary in the court’s view as he had no legal defence. 

After abusing the victim, he tried to distance himself from the girl, who was 13 years old then, by telling the court she was adopted.

Justice Kirriwom said this was not an unusual thing for such perpetrators to do. 

She refused to identify herself to the surname of the man but to that of her maternal grandfather in court when she gave evidence during the trial.

Justice Kirriwom said the victim is still the daughter of the man, regardless of how she came into the family.

The victim was the third and youngest child of the man. He and his wife took her in after she could not give him any more children.

He was found guilty by the court on May 5 and sentenced today.

Justice Kirriwom, in his ruling on the verdict on May 5, said the father lied to the court that he only sexually touched his daughter.

He said there was no logic that a sensible person would believe the father would have picked her up from school on three different occasions just to fondle her.

The victim was a month shy of turning 13 years old when he first sexually assaulted her in August 2012. That continued in September and November of 2012.

He sexually assaulted her at a relative's house at the PNGEI College, inside a tinted cab at Five-Mile and at the family house at Gerehu on three occasions.

He threatened her with a kitchen knife before violating her.

She was then in Grade Six and was the youngest of his three children.

A medical report conducted by a gynaecologist at the Vunapope Hospital in Rabaul, in January of 2014, revealed she contracted a sexually transmitted infection and received treatment.

Her mother took her to the hospital after she noticed foul body odour from the girl. Her behaviour, both at home and school, also changed and she told the mother everything after being asked.

The father of three children had an unhappy marriage of 18 years and he told the court that it was because his wife was the more prominent figure at home.

His wife told the court from the witness box that he was a good father but changed after he lost his job in 2009. He would go around borrowing money and ran away from home just to avoid those he got money from.

After his conviction, he apologised to the court, his wife and children for his actions, but he took no steps to reconcile with the victim.

Sally Pokiton