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Samoa Supreme Court jails father, daughter for incest

A 59-year-old father and his 34-year-old daughter were jailed yesterday for incest.The sentence was handed down by His Honour, Justice Vui Clarence Nelson, at the Supreme Court.A suppression order was imposed by the Court to protect the identity of the defendants.The father was jailed for six years while his daughter was given 18 months.The time they spent in custody, awaiting their sentence, will be deducted from their punishments.Both defendants pleaded guilty to incest earlier in the matter.The daughter was banished following her relationship with her father being brought before their village council, Justice Vui said.Her father on the other hand was ordered to provide 50 boxes of tinned fish. He was not banished.During his sentencing remarks, Justice Vui said he was curious as to how the village reached its decision.“You are a father and the head of the family,” Justice Vui told the defendant. “You are required to set good examples by your behaviour and life style. Examples to your children and other members of your family under your care and control.“I wonder how you would react if your wife or your children acted in the way that you did.”The defendant was told that he knew his actions were wrong. This was portrayed when he refused the girl [daughter] during the first two times she had come to him.“You are 25 years older than your daughter – you have lived that much longer and have that experience of life.“You failed to live up to your responsibilities as a father and as the head of your family.”The defendant was further told that in doing so he went against culture and the norms of Samoan society.Justice Vui told the man’s daughter that it was by her own word that she initiated “this elicit relationship”.“Daughters as well as fathers must respect customs of this community,” he said.