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Judicial CP - May 2005

Corpun file 15876

Fiji Times, Suva, 23 May 2005

Cane him, court orders

Convicted rapist Alvin Kumar is escorted from Nadi court by Constable Semi Meru after his sentencing yesterday

A MAN who robbed two tourists and raped one of them has been jailed for 20 years and ordered to be caned.

At a special court sitting yesterday Nadi magistrate, Syed Mukhtar Shah apologised to the two tourists on behalf of the people of Fiji for the man's actions.

Minister for Tourism Pita Nacuva was present at the special sitting yesterday and spoke to the two victims, comforting them and playing down the serious repercussions the man's action's may have on the tourism industry.

Alvin Avinesh Kumar, 27, a truck driver of Votualevu, Nadi, told the court he did not want a lawyer.

He pleaded guilty to wrongful confinement, abduction, two counts of robbery with violence and rape, telling Mr Shah he was freely pleading guilty because he had committed the offences.

Kumar was jailed for a year for wrongful confinement, four years for abduction, six years for each count of robbery with violence and eight years for rape.

Mr Shah ordered the sentences for robbery with violence and rape be served consecutively, meaning a term of 20 years. He ordered the sentences for wrongful confinement and abduction be served concurrent to the sentences for robbery with violence and rape.

He further ordered Kumar be given five strokes of corporal punishment subject to High Court approval.

Kumar and a friend who is yet to be arrested committed the offences between 9am and midnight on May 18.

The court heard a 22-year-old woman and her 23-year-old male friend, both of Germany, were standing on the roadside near a hotel at Nadi at 9pm when Kumar stopped the mini-bus he was driving.

Instead of dropping the tourists in Nadi Town, Kumar took the couple into the interior.

At Nasau, Kumar and his friend assaulted the man left him on the road after taking cash and items worth $300 from him.

Kumar then drove the minibus to the Votualevu Cemetery, where he and his friend assaulted and raped the woman.

They stole cash and jewellery worth $500 from the woman before driving away.

In mitigation, Kumar said his friend had told him to turn the minibus towards Nadi Back Road. Kumar, who is single and a first offender, asked for leniency.

Mr Shah gave him credit for pleading guilty and saving the victim the trauma of testifying.

Copyright 2005, Fiji Times Limited. All Rights Reserved.

Corpun file 15828

Fiji Times, Suva, 25 May 2005

Retailers want rapist caned


THE Fiji Retailers Association has applauded the court for adding caning to the sentence of a man charged with rape and abduction.

Association president Himmat Lodhia said although it may sound barbaric, caning was probably the biggest deterrent for such offenders and like-minded people.

He made the comment over a case involving the rape and abduction of a tourist.

Alvin Avinesh Kumar, 27, a truck driver of Votualevu, was jailed for 20 years by Nadi magistrate Syed Mukhtar Shah after admitting charges of rape, robbery with violence, wrongful confinement and abduction.

Mr Shah also ordered that Kumar be given five strokes of the cane.

Kumar and an accomplice picked up the 22-year-old woman and her 23-year-old male friend, both of Germany, outside a hotel in Nadi at 9pm.

Instead of taking them to town, Kumar took them to an isolated spot and assaulted the man and robbed him before driving with the woman to a cemetery at Votualevu.

Kumar admitted raping and assaulting the woman.

Mr Lodhia said the Minister for Home Affairs should make a broad-based statement for the protection of every citizen in the country.

Mr Lodhia said ministers travelled to many countries and should borrow a leaf from Singapore to make the country a safer place.

He said tourism was an important element for the country and it only took a few unscrupulous people to tarnish the image.

Nadi mayor Sanjit Patel said statistics collected by police indicated that crime in the town had gone down but much more was needed to be done.

He said the town thrived because of the tourist industry and visitors should feel safe.

Mr Patel said youths seen roaming in town after 10pm should be picked by police and taken home before they got into mischief.

He said parents should know where their children were and instil in them moral values.

After a meeting with Divisional Police Commander Permal Naidu, Mr Patel said he was satisfied that appropriate action would be taken to make Nadi a safer town and place.


Copyright 2005, Fiji Times Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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