A husband and wife guilty of multiple charges of sexual assault have been sentenced to lengthy prison sentences.
As Kaniva news reported last December, they were found guilty in the Supreme Court of several counts of rape and serious indecent assault.
The complainant told the court she was extremely drunk and awoke to find the couple performing a series of sexual acts on her.
The court heard that the mother helped her husband rape the accused.
Judge Niu found beyond any reasonable doubt that the complainant had not consented to any of the acts and therefore found the husband and wife guilty.
In handing down the sentences, Judge Niu said the Crown had argued that the offending was pre-meditated, that neither of the prisoners had expressed remorse and that they had instilled fear in the complainant.
He dismissed pleas for mitigation from the defence on the grounds that the couple’s children would be severely affected by their parents’ imprisonment.
“A prison sentence cannot be averted by the fact that the accused is a mother with an infant or a father with young children,” Judge Niu said.
“If that were to be so, such mothers and fathers would freely commit offences and avoid prison by reasons of their children.”
Judge Niu said the severity of the case led him to impose an equally serious penalty.
He said he would fail in his duty to uphold the laws of this country if he did not hand down a sentence that reflected the offence they had committed upon the complainant.
He described this as “the removal and destruction by both of you of her [the complainant‘s] sanctity, dignity and honour as a woman.”
The husband was sentenced to a total of 17 years imprisonment. The wife was sentenced to 15 years and six months imprisonment.