25 May 2005

Attempts to rebuild Pitcairn community thwarted by appeal process

10:24 am on 25 May 2005

The Pitcairn Commissioner says attempts to rebuild the Pitcairn Island community are not likely to take place for at least another nine months.

Yesterday the Pitcairn Supreme Court confirmed the convictions of six island men on charges of rape and indecent assault.

However, it extended the men's bail until an appeal hearing by the Privy Council into British sovereignty of Pitcairn.

The Pitcairn Commissioner, Lesley Jacques says that decision is likely to put off those thinking of returning to the island.

"Everyone, including the complainants, are Pitcairners too and have the right of abode there. So,as soon as they go back then the sooner we can start to rebuild the community - but realistically this won't happen until after the Privy Council hearing."

The Pitcairn Commissioner, Lesley Jacques.

The Privy Council hearing is expected to take place early next year.