The National – Wednesday, December 29, 2010
By JULIA DAIA BORE
OFFENCES involving breaches of trust are becoming quite prevalent. And stealing by servants or employees from their employers make up a large number in this category Justice Nicholas Kirriwom has told the Waigani National Court.
Kirriwom said there were often many reasons underpinning people’s change of attitude over time when they have won confidence of their employers by their long and dedicated loyal service.
He added that these came in the forms such as pressures borne upon someone when in difficulty to meet family obligations, settling a debt, and paying school fees for children, and even for selfish reasons like gambling, drinking and so forth.
Kirriwom said this recently while sentencing a Tolai woman, aged 27, whom the court found guilty with one count of misappropriating K20,000 from the ANZ Bank where she worked.
Ulamila August of Raputput village in Kokopo, East New Britain, was on Dec 17 sentenced to three years imprisonment.
But luck was on her side when the court suspended the sentence with certain conditions which she must follow to remain free.
An expectant mother of two months, August was employed by the ANZ bank from 2004 until April 2008 when she was charged with the offence.
The first born of four other siblings, August admitted to the court that she was guilty of the offence.
However, the court pointed out that she did not disclose how she spent the money.
The court was told that the money was debited by August from the bank’s Commercial Bills Account to her mother’s account, which she later withdrew and put to her own personal use.
“I can only assume that she used the money personally to sustain her own lifestyle, whatever it comprised of, and in the absence of any evidence, no adverse finding can be made of that,” Kirriwom said during his ruling on the judgment on sentence.
He then ordered August to repay the ANZ Bank the K20,000 she stole within one year as of the date of the order.
*That, her bail money of K500, be applied towards restitution once refunded by the court registry;
*The court also, ordered her to perform one day free community service work at the Port Moresby General Hospital or such other community-based corrections per week; and
*To do this for one year under the supervision of an officer from the community-based corrections (CBC); and
*That reports of her conduct and services in that time be furnished to the court by the CBC.