By HEZRON KISING
A JUVENILE has been jailed six years for robbery with violence, with the judge saying an adequate sentence is warranted in such cases to serve as a deterrent.
National Court Judge in Lae, Justice Lawrence Kangwia, handed down the sentence to Lucas Billy, 17, from Chimbu, after he pleaded guilty to armed robbery.
The court heard that the maximum penalty for the offence was life imprisonment.
“Foremost is that sentencing is an exercise of the court’s discretion,” Justice Kangwia said.
“It provides a central point from which adequacy of sentence emanates. It prevents possibilities of excessive or too low sentences.
“This case involved acts of violence from an armed, youthful and first-time offender which attracts life imprisonment.
“Despite his age, his actions and involvement are equated with a crime committed by an adult.
“The present case reflects a new trend in armed robbery cases.
“It was agreed that the case was centred on sophisticated and proper planning.
“If juveniles can do this, it is a foregone conclusion that adults can do better.
“Adequate sentence must be imposed for the purpose of deterrence and most importantly the safety and security of population at large.”
Billy was involved in an armed holdup of a bus where passengers were robbed of their belongings and the driver stabbed.
Billy’s statement to court read: “The stolen items were retrieved soon after the incident. It’s true I committed the offence. I apologise and ask the court for mercy. And if sentenced, I ask to be transferred to near where my family are living.”
He was 16 when he committed the offence.
The court deducted 14 months and two weeks from the sentence for the time spent in custody.
Billy’s co-accused Junior Samuel John, 23, also from Chimbu, was jailed for six years as well in relation to the same robbery.
By HEZRON KISING