A high-risk sex offender has been sentenced to two years in prison by the High Court.
Yesterday, Justice Patrick Keane convicted and sentenced Japhet Manuel for the charge of two counts of entering with intent.
Justice Kean looked back at Manuel’s previous offences which began at the age of 26, when he unlawfully entered resort rooms and homes at night.
Manuel was first convicted for an indecent assault charge for an offence he committed on the night of June 16, 2011, where he opened the sliding door of a home and indecently touched a guest in her room.
On March, 2012, he entered a resort accommodation and asked a female guest to have oral sex and again in the same month he indecently assaulted a pregnant woman. Around the same time, a woman who was in Rarotonga for her honeymoon was indecently touched on her thigh by Manuel.
He was then sentenced to three and a half years for all these offences.
It was again in 2016, Manuel committed a similar offence and spent another two and half years in prison.
He was released in June last year on 12 months’ supervision and has since lived with his mother.
Justice Keane said Manuel now aged 35 relied on his mother, he had a job with a builder but then suddenly changed and further offended.
He said Manuel’s probation report on his recent offence showed he had first seen a woman at the beach and on December 3, 2019, he entered her house to share his feelings.
But the police report showed Manuel opened the locked sliding door of the property in Titikaveka and entered the victim’s room. He was chased by the victim and her flat mate.
On February this year, while on bail Manuel again entered the home of another woman in Ngatangiia.
Justice Keane said Manuel’s psychiatric report showed that alcohol and cannabis are his vulnerability but he did not want to refrain from it.
The report further showed that he was a high-risk reoffender, high-risk sexual offender and concerns were that if released he would reoffend.
Police prosecutor senior sergeant Tuaine Manavaroa said Manuel was not new to the court and had already spent some time in custody.
Defence counsel Wilkie Rasmussen said his client came from a dysfunctional family and grew up around alcohol.
Justice Keane said: “Your two principle offences are serious requiring a significant term of imprisonment.”
He said Manuel has been offending since 2011, where he spent nights in the clubs and later entered homes and resorts, indecently assaulting women in their sleep or if awake tried to persuade them into having sex.
He said it was a concern that prison terms have not deterred Manuel from reoffending.
Manuel showed no remorse for his actions and reoffended while on bail, Justice Keane said.
Manuel was sentenced to two years and seven months, but because he has already been in custody for the last seven months – Justice Keane reduced the sentence to two years.