Crippled pleads guilty

National, Normal


A 20-YEAR-old crippled man pleaded guilty at the National Court in Lae last Friday for holding up a PMV bus and robbing the driver and passengers along the Markham Bridge, outside Lae, last year.
Andrew Simaka, of Wamar village, Erap, Morobe province, was charged with one count of armed robbery, contravening section 306 of the Criminal Code and carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
He appeared before Justice Nicholas Kirriwom.
Simaka was among 11others on the morning of last Nov 27, that held up a Nissan van from Bulolo, the court was told.
Among the PMV passengers were two of Simaka’s accomplices.
When the bus approached the Markham Bridge, Simaka and gang held up the driver and passengers.
The court was told the gang members were armed with three pistols and three home-made guns and led the bus to a nearby village.
They robbed the driver and passengers of all their cash and other belongings before escaping into the bushes.
Simaka was apprehended the same day by police.
His lawyer Mwagawa Mwawasi, from the Public Solicitor’s office, submitted that there were no injuries to the driver and passengers.
He submitted that Simaka “was crippled from his left shoulder down to his arm”.
Mr Mwawasi’s submission for a lenient sentence was countered by the State’s argument that Simaka had taken part in the crime.
The State had pushed for a 15 to 20-year sentence.
The court had requested for a pre-sentence to determine an appropriate sentence next month.