By GIDEON KINDIWA
A MAN was yesterday jailed 13 years with hard labour for killing his wife over six bottles of beer.
Justice Panuel Mogish told the man, John Mawe, 40, from Sinasina-Yongomugl, Chimbu, during sentencing: “You killed your wife of 13 years over a six pack of beer. What is the price for life? A six pack of beer?”
The judge said this was a result of domestic violence and violence against women which must be stopped. He said domestic violence was seen as normal and most people thought that it was normal for men to abuse their wives, but it’s not.
“So many women have died as a cause of domestic abuse at home. Wife-bashing must stop.
“Men must learn to talk and solve problems in a reasonable manner and not to resort to violence.
“This is not a case of death by accident. Death was caused by intentional acts of violence by you against your wife whom you were supposed to love, nurture and protect. What you did exhibits a shocking betrayal of trust and love.”
Mogish said the domestic violence syndrome was slowly choking the society and claiming lives of women and girls and the onus was on individuals to make a choice whether to fall victim to the syndrome or make a difference.
He said the maximum penalty for manslaughter was life imprisonment, however, each case was determined by its merits, depending on mitigating and aggravating factors.
“In this case, Mawe has no criminal history, pleaded guilty at an early stage, admitted the offence and also showed that there was no intention but rather a spontaneous act of drunken rage, which were taken as mitigating factors.”
Aggravating factors involve seriousness of the offence and prevalence of the offence.
Mawe deliberately committed the offence with relentless beating, the nature of the injuries was serious and he used a weapon, Mogish said.
The offence took place on July 30, last year at Mawe’s residence at Sinasina Block, 5-Mile, Port Moresby.
On July 29, Mawe took his family to shop at Erima.
Among other things, he also bought a six-pack of beer for his wife and six for himself along with a 375ml bottle of whisky. The family returned home at around 5pm. Mawe felt tired and slept.
At around 10pm, his wife woke him and told him that she had finished her beer and all that remained was the whisky so they began sharing the whisky.
They finished it at around 2am and Mawe went searching for his six-pack and asked his wife.
He then began assaulting her and the fighting went on for some time.
At about 5am, the couple’s 11-year-old son woke up and saw his father beating his mother with something that looked like a metal rod or timber.
He saw his mother’s face was swollen and she was lying on a bed.
At around 6am, Mawe got a taxi and took his wife to the Port Moresby General Hospital where she died at about 10am.
According to an autopsy report, head injuries caused the death.
There was blood between the skull and the brain, and a fractured forehead caused by a blow with a blunt object.
Medical reports showed that the victim sustained several cuts and bruises to her face with a deformed nose and her nasal bridge had collapsed.
Mawe was sentenced to 13 years in prison with hard labour, with a year and two month deducted for the time he spent in custody.
He is serving at Bomana Prison.