Sex offenders should get an effective prison sentence, domestic violence Commission says

The Commission for Gender-Based and Domestic Violence said that the courts should better reflect the legal amendments made to increase the penalties for whoever commits such crimes

File photo
File photo

Whoever is found guilty of sexual abuse and sexual violence should be condemned to an effective prison sentence, the Commission for Gender-Based and Domestic Violence said.

The Commission was reacting to a court judgement passed on Thursday where a convicted sex offender’s 18-month prison sentence was suspended on appeal by Madam Justice Consuelo Scerri Herrera. The reason the presiding judge gave for such a diminished sentence was the young age of the accused when he perpetrated the crime.

READ MORE: Man who sexually assaulted tourist has prison sentence suspended on appeal... because of his young age

Jurgen Zahra was 20 when he drove up drunk beside the Hungarian tourist, chased her down, beat her up and tore off her clothes.

"The Commission believes that whoever is found guilty of violence of this nature should be condemned to an effective prison sentence. This should be the norm not the exception," the domestic violence commission said.

"This is important in the context of a society that wants to pass on a clear message that violence on women should not be tolerated," it said on Friday, adding that, after all, the courts should better reflect the legal amendments recently passed to substantially increase the penalties for person found guilty of these types of crimes.

The Commission said that it was worried by Thursday's judgement as it could serve as an encouraging message to people who would in future commit similar crimes. 

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