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Former Fiji resident to be deported for sexual assault

February 26, 2021 4:50 pm
31-year-old Benjamin Goundar. [Source: NZ Herald]

A former Fiji resident currently serving a 16-year-sentence for raping a teenager in New Zealand will be deported to Fiji after his release from jail.

31-year-old Benjamin Goundar was found guilty late last year in the High Court at Wellington on nine charges, including common assault, sexual violation and threatening to kill.

According to New Zealand Herald, Goundar was already serving a lengthy sentence for the offending against the teenage girl in Hamilton before the latest offending, which happened in Upper Hutt’s Rimutaka Prison over two-and-a-half months.

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The victim of the current offending said Goundar raped him or forced him to perform oral sex nearly every night from mid-October 2017 to early January 2018.

He made death threats to dissuade the victim from moving to a different cell, and on one occasion pulled a shank on him.

The abuse only stopped when an anonymous call was made to Crimestoppers, and Goundar was moved out of the unit.

In his victim impact statement, the victim said he had let Goundar run his life for too long.

He could no longer trust people, and because he could not double bunk with people in prison anymore he was becoming isolated from others.

Justice Karen Clark said aggravating features of Goundar’s offending included the victim’s vulnerability, his predatory behaviour, his intimidation and violence, the scale of the offending, and the degrading and cruel element to it.

When interviewed for a pre-sentence report, Goundar refused to answer questions relating to the offending and was assessed as having a low prospect of rehabilitation.

Another report said Goundar was “sadistic and domineering”.

Prison file notes also showed a pattern of making sexualized comments towards female prison staff, and aggressive physical advances towards male staff.

Justice Clark had to choose between imposing a 17-year jail term with no parole, or preventive detention – an indefinite sentence that allows an offender to be kept in prison for as long as they are considered a risk to society.

She chose to impose a preventive detention sentence with a minimum non-parole period of 10 years.

Justice Clark also noted Goundar would be deported to Fiji if he is ever released from prison.

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