By LEANDRA ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
PRIME Minister Phillip “Brave” Davis says he doesn’t think National Security Minister Wayne Munroe should resign in the wake of backlash about his recent controversial comments concerning a child sex case involving a 40-year-old man.
Mr Davis said he believed the situation was a learning experience for the minister and has taught him that it’s best to keep his personal views to himself.
There have been calls for Mr Munroe’s resignation in recent days after he told reporters last week that a 40-year-old man who was charged with unlawful sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old girl had in his opinion received a sentence that was too severe.
The man was sentenced by the Supreme Court to four years in prison as part of a plea deal. After he serves his time, he will be on probation for three years.
However, Mr Munroe said had he defended the man, he would not have accepted a plea deal because it was not rape and that the girl had consented.
The next day, Mr Munroe released a statement expressing deep regrets that his comments had caused public concern. He did not take back his earlier statements.
Yesterday, Mr Davis refused to directly comment on the case, but said perpetrators of child sex crimes deserve to be punished to “the fullest extent of the law.”
The prime minister also conceded that there is a need to strengthen the country’s laws to better protect women and children and said he has tasked the attorney general to conduct a comprehensive review of current legislation in that regard.
“We have to appreciate that sentencing is in the purview of the judge and the court and it is not for me or anyone else to comment on what the judge may have done,” Mr Davis said at a press conference when asked for his thoughts about the case.
“We may have our view as to what we may have done but it is what the judge did. Now insofar as sentencing in respect to crime against women, I have made myself implicitly clear. We need to protect our women. We need to ensure that the laws are enforced to the utmost so as to deter further assaults on our women and to deter the violence against women and that is my position and I continue you to say so.”
As for calls for Mr Munroe’s resignation, the prime minister said he didn’t believe the situation warranted such a response.
He said: “He has already expressed his regrets in my conversations with him and if you hear what he has to say it appears to be more about his personal view and he has to come to learn as a young politician that when he holds the post as he does, his personal views may be best kept to himself.”