15 years jail, 13 strokes for man who raped underaged girl

National 1 minute, 27 seconds


A BRUNEIAN man was sentenced to 15 years in jail and 13 strokes of the cane after he was found guilty of raping a 13-year-old girl.

Hibatul Wafi Mahari, 25, was convicted on June 11 for raping Miss X sometime at a house in Tutong between October and November 2011.

Delivering the sentence yesterday, Chief Registrar Pg Hjh Rostaina Pg Hj Duraman said the defendant had abused his position of trust when he forced himself on the victim who had looked up to the defendant as an adopted brother.

The court noted that the defendant did not show remorse as he sought to project the victim as a liar and victimised her again, instead of taking responsibility for his actions.

She said rape is undeniably a degrading, humiliating and brutal invasion of a person’s intimate privacy, and an infringement of a person’s rights. In his statement to the Women and Children Abuse Investigation Unit, the defendant said he regretted his actions and promised not to commit a crime again. Hibatul Wafi further said he was willing to take responsibility for the baby if Miss X was unable to do so. However, the defendant’s actions said otherwise as he had pleaded not guilty.

The court said Miss X’s childhood was robbed from her as a result of the rape which resulted in her giving birth. Miss X who became a young mother will constantly be reminded of what happened to her, added the chief registrar. During the trial, Deputy Public Prosecutor Pg Norsuzanawati Pg Hj Abas called 12 witnesses including two experts to testify against the defendant.

Hibatul Wafi was ordered to serve his sentence with effect from June 11, when his bail was revoked following the guilty verdict.

The Brunei Times