By JIMMY KALEBE
TWO men, one charged with manslaughter and the other murder, were jailed a total of 22 years by the National Court in Lae early this month.
Justice Lawrence Kangwia jailed Paul Siwi, 20, 14 years for murder.
Siwi’s counsel submitted for a term between 16 and 20 years on the ground that he was a first-time offender and that it was unclear who inflicted the injuries that caused the death.
The counsel also submitted that Siwi was facing the full brunt of the law while his other co-accused were still at large.
The prosecution submitted that since one of his co-accused was jailed 14 years, the same should also be imposed for Siwi.
Murder, under Section 300 of the Criminal Code Act, carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
“Where offences of murder are committed in a group with the use of offensive weapons while intoxicated, the resultant death falls into the serious category, warranting high custodial sentences,” Justice Kangwia said.
Siwi’s time in custody will be deducted and the balance to be served with hard labour in Buimo jail.
In the other case, Justice Kangwia jailed Arthur Bobby, 21, eight years for manslaughter but had the sentence suspended two years for early guilty plea.
Justice Kangwia also took into account that Bobby was a first-time offender and had expressed genuine remorse. From the six years, the court ordered that Bobby’s time spent in custody would be further deducted and that the balance be spent with hard labour in Buimo jail.
Bobby was 18 when he committed the offence in 2018.
“Courts these days are answering the call for deterrent sentences and are imposing high sentences for manslaughter and murder,” Justice Kangwia stressed.
“The killing arose out of an affray in a public bus stop and is a public nuisance that infringes the freedom of others. The actions of Bobby and his cohorts are a clear display of abject abuse of freedom that everyone is entitled to.
“The law seems to be trailing behind such behaviour and it demands adequate measures to curtail it.
“The court must do its part when sentencing offenders as killings out of affrays or group fights must be categorised as very serious with high sentences to serve as deterrents.”
By JIMMY KALEBE