22 Dec 2005

Solomons' Women's Council decries two years' jail for rape convict

9:39 am on 22 December 2005

The Solomon Islands National Council of Women says the lenient sentence handed down to a convicted rapist sends out the wrong signal to men.

Twenty six year old Stephen Ramone, who's a father of two children, was found guilty of raping a mentally-handicapped girl in February last year, in the capital, Honiara.

He was given a two-year prison sentence.

The General Secretary of the Women's Council, Ellen Kauhue, says the sentence will only encourage men to continue breaking the law.

"If the decision of the court are conveying to the men out there, it's an indication that encourages men to go on doing things like that like raping women, and knowing that if they are brought before the court the court can be merciful."

Ms Kauhue says the court has the right to sentence, but also has the responsibility to protect.

If the court is starting to make a decision that is really not in line with what we are promoting,then we will start to be very vocal on such issues.