Wife-beaters jailed

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TWO men have been jailed 10 years and eight years respectively for injuring their wives – one leading to her death – in a society a judge describes as accepting violence “as a mode of conflict resolution”.
Justice Laura Kuvi jailed Joe Kumbi, 29, of Purani village in Koroba, Hela, 10 years for assaulting his 18-year-old wife in Port Moresby’s Tete settlement three years ago.
She later died from the injury.
He was convicted of assault causing bodily harm.
Justice Kuvi told Kumbi: “It appears that our society is plagued by a far bigger issue than a breakdown in law and order issues.
“Since being appointed to the bench in August this year, all the bodily harm and manslaughter cases that I have headed over had had a domestic issue.
“The number of published judgments this year also reveal a high number of deaths and bodily harm cases arising out of domestic issues which most victims are women.”
Kumbi had a row with his teenage wife from Goilala in Central after she accused him of having affairs with other women in the settlement.
She fell after Kumbi slapped her, hitting her head hard on the ground. They did not have any children.
Justice Kuvi said: “The tragic and unfortunate death of the young lady was over a very small argument that should not have happened.
“The saddest thing is the death being caused by her husband, the one person who should have loved and kept her safe.
“Our society appears has become a society that accepts violence as a mode of conflict resolution.
“Unfortunately, the human body is not made of iron and its vulnerabilities and weakness are fully valued.”
In mitigation, Kumbi’s lawyer said he was a first-time offender and he had not intended to injured his wife.
Justice Kuvi deducted two years, 10 months, one week and 15 days from the jail terms.
Kumbi will therefore serve seven years, one month, two weeks and two days in prison without hard labour.
In a separate case, Justice Kuvi sentenced Thomas Agobe to eight years in prison for injuring his wife in June, 2019.
He was convicted of intending to cause serious bodily harm and causing serious bodily harm on his wife, who had accused him of having an affair.
Justice Kuvi told Agobe that women were not properties to be possessed, or livestock to be beaten/assaulted into submission.
“Agobe had the opportunity to walk away during the argument and he did not,” she said.
“He has children in the house and as a father, he should be a role model.
“He gave excuse for his children to have mercy but it is the same children he should have considered before he attacked their mother.
“Women are entitled to be treated with respect and dignity and they have the same right to freedom as men.”
She sentenced him to three years for the charge of causing serious bodily harm, and eight years for the intention to cause serious body harm.
Both sentences are to be served concurrently. Two years, four months, three weeks and two days of time spent in custody were deducted.