The National – Friday, December 24, 2010
By ELIZABETH VUVU
THE Kokopo National court has sentenced four men in East New Britain to a total of 40 years in prison for armed robbery.
Justice Salatiel Lenalia when sentencing Kitaun Bilak, Pauria Penias, Hosea Peni and Levi Gugu on Wednesday said their case must be regarded as very serious as robberies in shops, clubs, out in streets, banks and homes in our towns were becoming prevalent.
The court heard that on the night of Dec 8, 2008 at Vunagogo village, central Gazelle, the four prisoners with others in a vehicle converged at the village while victims were sleeping and pretended that they were policemen there to search homes and shouted for people to wake up and come outside from their houses so police could search their homes for troublemakers.
Once the families were outside, they were ordered to lie down on the ground while the prisoners went into four houses and robbed all household valuables and trade store goods with a total value of K1,842.30.
Four main witnesses identified the prisoners clearly in court saying at that time there was sufficient light from the half fool moon to recognise them.
Lenalia rejected all defences by each of the accused which lacked credibility.
He told the prisoners that the robbery took where people were peacefully sleeping and enjoying and the four men displayed a bold move to commit this crime with no fear for the law, business community and even ordinary people.
Lenalia said there was no respect for people who earned their money lawfully by operation of the law and in the hard way and the business community could not suffer nor could ordinary citizens suffer from the hands of a ruthless minority who had no respect for the law.
To safeguard the
community interest, the courts must uphold the law and the constitution to ensure that offenders should be appropriately punished.