Special sentence for legal clerk

National, Normal

AN East New Britain legal clerk found guilty by the Kokopo National Court for obtaining K6,000 through false pretence had his sentence designed not only to punish him but also to repay and compensate his victim.
Justice Don Sawong, in sentencing Henry Bungtabu to one year, 10 months, one week and six days imprisonment last week, said Bungtabu had not made any attempt to repay the money since his arrest and did not apologise to his victims.
“I have designed this sentence because it is not clear to me what you did with the money, resulting in the victim and his family suffering financial loss.
“They want you to repay the money and you must,” the judge said, adding that the amount stolen was fairly substantial amount in the context of a village victim.
He told Bungtabu that if he or his relatives repaid the sum of K6,000 and 40 fathoms of shell money to the complainant within three months by June 24, a period of six months would be suspended without any surety, to be of good behaviour for a period of one year.
Justice Sawong said the prisoner would then serve only, one year, four months, one week and six days.
Bungtabu was employed by Warner Shand Lawyers as a clerk in Kokopo, East New Britain.
In April 2008, he informed one George Tael that a Warner Shand vehicle allocated to him was to be sold for K12,000.
He further stated that if the vehicle was bought through him, it would only cost K7,000.
Subsequently in May 2008, Bungtabu met Mr Tael who gave him K6,000 for the purchase of the vehicle.
After receiving the money, Bungtabu did not deliver the vehicle to Mr Tael.
Bungtabu had falsely promised the complainant that the said vehicle was being sold and he received K6,000 when in fact there was no vehicle for sale.