Ten-year-old a credible witness: Judge Cannings

National, Normal

THE evidence of a 10-year-old girl about the death of her grandmother has led to the conviction of a man charged with her murder.
National Court judge, Justice David Cannings, who heard the case on Nov 20 in Wewak, East Sepik province, said he was convinced with the girl’s (named) evidence that Richard Wasabo Yandu had killed 52-year-old Wendy Manjang in her garden hut at Kamgu, Wosera-Gawi electorate, in the early hours of Oct 7, 2006.
Justice Cannings said the granddaughter was a reliable witness who gave credible evidence of seeing Yandu attacked Manjang with a knife.
“Her evidence was corroborated by the circumstantial evidence of the accused being involved in a fight at the dance at Pukago and issuing threats.”
The court heard that Yandu, aided by his older brother Carlson, had attacked Manjang with a bushknife as she slept in her garden hut as a reprisal for being thrown out a village dance the previous night by her
Carlson is currently on the run.
Witnesses gave evidence that the two brothers were drunk and had caused a fight at the dance.
Although Yandu insisted he was somewhere else at the time of killing, Justice Cannings relied on the evidence of girl and two other State witnesses to convict the accused.
“The State has proven beyond reasonable doubt that the accused attacked the deceased and that the injuries he and/or his brother inflicted on her directly led to her death.
“He killed her. The first element of murder has been proven.”