By BOURA GORUKILA
A JUDGE has sentenced a man who stabbed his former wife to death to 16 years in prison, saying such killings were prevalent and warranted jail terms as a deterrent.
National Court Judge Panuel Mogish told Bradley Neri, 35, of Ruma village in Mt Hagen, Western Highlands that while a life sentence was “not appropriate in this case”, a jail term of between 16 and 20 years “would be appropriate bearing the offender’s circumstances, the presence of de-facto provocation and payment of substantial compensation”.
“This should bring home the message that domestic violence is a serious offence calling for strong deterrent sentences,” he said.
“Domestic violence resulting in death is prevalent and call for a stern punishment.”
Neri, a computer scientist, will serve about 12 years at Bomana after four years and three days were deducted for the time he had spent in remand.
Justice Mogish considered that Neri had no previous conviction, his relatives had compensated the relatives of the late Mary Ketege with K25,000 in cash, 12 pigs, K10,000 in repatriation costs and K7,000 for funeral expenses.
He said that at the time of the offence, Neri was provoked and acted immediately to subdue the provocation offered to him which unfortunately led to Ketege’s death.
The couple were also living separately as Neri was living with another woman.
Justice Mogish said Neri pleaded not guilty to the charge but was convicted of murder after a trial.
“The facts as I found were that on the afternoon of March 10, 2016, Ketege confronted Neri at Tabari Place, Boroko, and attempted to stab him with a knife,” he said.
Neri managed to hold the knife and after a struggle, the couple fell to the ground.
“Neri by then had disarmed Ketege and while they were lying on the ground, he stabbed her with the knife once to her right chest,” he said.
“He twisted the knife inside her body, causing further internal injuries and leading to her death.”
Justice Mogish said Neri could have just left Ketege on the ground and left.
“But that did not happen,” he said.
“That to my mind was deliberate and reduces the strength of his plea of provocation.”
By BOURA GORUKILA