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Last Updated: Monday, 30 October 2006, 19:20 GMT
Pitcairn islanders lose appeal
Steve Christian (left), the island's mayor, with his lawyer
Steve Christian (left), was convicted of five charges and cleared of five more
Six men found guilty of child rape and indecent assault on the remote Pacific island of Pitcairn have failed in their appeals against conviction.

The Privy Council, the court of final appeal for UK overseas territories, rejected the men's appeal following a lengthy investigation and legal battle.

The men had said Pitcairn was not under British sovereignty and English Law had not been properly incorporated there.

They will serve sentences ranging from six years in jail to community service.

The men had been released on bail pending the outcome of their appeals following their trials in October and November 2004.

Despite the difficulties of prosecuting serious crimes such as these in such a remote location it is important that child sex offenders are dealt with by the courts
Lord Triesman
Minister responsible for overseas territories

They had already had appeals dismissed by the Pitcairn Court of Appeal sitting in Auckland in 2006.

The case was then heard by the Privy Council in London in July 2006.

Lord Triesman, Foreign and Commonwealth Office minister responsible for overseas territories, said: "I am pleased that this case has come to an end...

"Despite the difficulties of prosecuting serious crimes such as these in such a remote location it is important that child sex offenders are dealt with by the courts.

"The decision today opens the way for this remote community to move forward."

Pitcairn Island, which has no airport and can be reached only by boat, was discovered in 1767 by the British and settled in 1790 by the Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian companions.

The island's population peaked to more than 250 in the 1930s, but there are now just 50 people living there.

The convicted men are:

  • Steve Christian, who claimed to be a direct descendant of Bounty mutineer leader Fletcher Christian. He was convicted of five rapes and cleared of four indecent assaults and one rape. He was sentenced to three years jail
  • His son, Randy Christian, who faced five counts of rape and 10 of indecent assault and was found guilty of four counts of rape and five of indecent assault. He was sentenced to six years in jail
  • Len Brown, 78, who was convicted of two rapes and was sentenced to two years jail
  • His son Dave Brown, who faced 14 counts of indecent assault and two of gross indecency and was found guilty of six charges of indecent assault and pleaded guilty to three others. He was sentenced to community service
  • Terry Young, who was convicted of one rape and six indecent assaults but was cleared of one indecent assault charge. He was sentenced to five years jail
  • Dennis Christian, who had previously entered guilty pleas to three counts of indecent assault, and was sentenced to community service.



FROM OTHER NEWS SITES:
Jerusalem Post 6 convicted of sex abuse on Pitcairn 'Bounty' Isle - 23 hrs ago
Washington Post6 Convicted on Sex Abuse Charges on Pacific Island - 28 hrs ago
Guardian Unlimited Six found guilty in Pitcairn sex offences trial - 30 hrs ago
Independent Guilty: the verdicts that shamed Pitcairn Island - 31 hrs ago
TelegraphPitcairn men guilty - 32 hrs ago
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SEE ALSO
Pitcairn sex case men lose appeal
24 May 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Six guilty in Pitcairn sex trial
25 Oct 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Pitcairn facing a fragile future
25 Oct 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Rape a 'way of life' on Pitcairn
01 Oct 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Bloody history of empire's last outpost
29 Sep 04 |  Asia-Pacific

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