By HEZRON KISING
THE Lae National Court jailed a man 25 years for killing another two years ago in what the court described as a vicious mob attack without considering the sanctity of life.
Justice Lawrence Kangwia handed down the sentence on Philemon Yausa, 28, who had pleaded guilty to the murder of Yoapa Dickol, under Section 300 of the Criminal Code.
Justice Kangwia mentioned that the aggravating factor that stood out from the facts and circumstances of the case was that there was complete disregard for the sanctity of life.
“Life exists only once,” Justice Kangwia said.
“After it is gone, it cannot return or be replaced.
“The deceased who was unarmed, could not defend himself when he was attacked repeatedly.
“There was a strong intention to cause grievous bodily harm.
“Offences involving violence and death are prevalent.
“Owing to the prevalence of offences involving wanton killings and the overall view of giving effect to the ‘right to life’ entitlement under Section 35 of the Constitution, deterrence should be a priority consideration in sentencing.”
The court heard that on Sept 24, 2019, there was a birthday party in the village where Dickol lived.
After the party, he and Yausa’s cousin, known only as Gabriel, escorted two other men to the main road to travel back to Lae.
While on the way, one of the men and Gabriel got into an argument and Gabriel was injured.
Yausa and his accomplices heard of it, armed themselves and set upon Dickol who was not part of the assault on Gabriel.
They repeatedly shouted “kill him” as they assaulted the victim.
Justice Kangwia stated that the victim was taken to the hospital but he died.
His medical certificate indicated that he died from severe head injuries and slash on the head and face, Justice Kangwia said.
The defence lawyer, from the Public Solicitor’s Office, submitted that there was an intention to cause grievous bodily harm to the victim and charged the defendant with murder.
According to court documents, the defendant was 26 years old when he committed the offence.
He was the fourth child in a family of six siblings and was single.
His family paid a compensation of K2,000, two pigs, plus garden food.
The defence counsel, while conceding that a life was lost, submitted that after considering the extenuating circumstances and the aggravating factors, a sentence between 12 and 20 years was warranted.
Justice Kangwia highlighted that as for suspension of the sentence, even though it was discretionary, it would promote personal deterrence, rehabilitation and reformation of the prisoner as he was a young, first-time offender.
By HEZRON KISING