11 Jun 2012

Samoa Court of Appeal drops fine and jails man convicted of incest

1:47 pm on 11 June 2012

A 57-year-old man in Samoa who was found guilty of incest has been ordered by the Court of Appeal to be jailed for 12 months, reversing a Supreme Court ruling that had imposed a fine of 5,000 US dollars.

The Supreme Court had also ruled that half the fine be paid to the defendant's 36-year-old daughter, who had also been jailed on incest charges.

However the Court of Appeal has set aside the fine paid to the victim and ordered she be released from jail after serving eight months of her three year sentence.

The Court of Appeal says it took account of several factors.

It says the victim's father had abandoned her before she was born but he later took advantage of her; her prompt admission of guilt; support for her father at his sentencing despite what had he had done to her; the time already spent in jail and her ostracism from her village.