‘Dishonest, callous’ man convicted in Supreme Court of indecent assault on a child

A man has been sentenced to a total of 30 months imprisonment after being convicted in the Supreme Court of serious indecent assault on a child.

Lord Chief Justice Whitten  ordered that the identity of the complainant and her evidence in the proceedings not be published in the Kingdom.

While Kaniva News is based in Auckland, we are aware that we have many readers in Tonga and will accordingly limit ourselves to an outline of the case.

The court was told the two assaults occurred in November 2018 and February 2019 in a house in Longoteme.

In both cases the man told the complainant not to report the incidents. Shortly after the second incident he moved out of the house where the events had occurred. The complainant told her mother what had happened.  Her mother then took her to the police to lodge a complaint.

The defendant first appeared before the Supreme Court on October 8, 2019. He was granted bail on condition that he not leave Tongatapu and was to return to Court on October 22, 2019 for a trial date to be fixed.

However, he did not appear on the 22nd and instead ran away to ‘Eua. It was nearly three years before he was arrested there in September last year.

During his trial the man asserted that it was the complainant who had effectively molested him. He made a similar claim when originally interviewed by police. His version of events was rejected.

“A moment’s reflection on the proposition that a young girl would fabricate complaints of serious indecent assault and put herself and her family through the exposure and risk of humiliation at trial, for no discernible reason or benefit, belies the dishonesty, irrationality, and callousness of the Defendant’s position,” Lord Chief Justice Whitten said.

“[The defendant’s] statement to the probation officer that all he has learned is to not get involved with teenage girls also reflects his lack of remorse.  His breach of bail by moving to ‘Eua shortly after arraignment, no doubt seeking to evade justice in this matter also reflects a flagrant disregard for the law.”

In his summing up, Lord Chief Justice Whitten ordered that the final 12 months of his sentence was to be suspended for two years from the date that the man  was released from prison on condition that he was placed on probation and completed courses on sexual abuse and domestic violence.

The court was told that the defendant had not honestly co-operated with the authorities, had not shown any remorse and had not apologised to his victim.

Sometimes when a business is growing, it needs a little help.

Right now Kaniva News provides a free, politically independent, bilingual news service for readers around the world that is absolutely unique. We are the largest New Zealand-based Tongan news service, and our stories reach Tongans  wherever they are round the world. But as we grow, there are increased demands on Kaniva News for translation into Tongan on our social media accounts and for the costs associated with expansion. We believe it is important for Tongans to have their own voice and for Tongans to preserve their language, customs and heritage. That is something to which we are strongly committed. That’s why we are asking you to consider sponsoring our work and helping to preserve a uniquely Tongan point of view for our readers and listeners.


Latest news

Related news