Woman avoids jail over firearm

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A 21-YEAR-OLD woman who posted a picture of herself on Facebook holding a police issued firearm has avoided jail – and was fined K500 instead.
Sarah Akuire, of Arop village, Aitape, West Sepik, was fined by Magistrate Kari Poawai in the Boroko District Court on Tuesday after it was found that a policeman also played a part in Akuire handling the gun when he did not refuse her request.
Akuire pleaded guilty to carrying a firearm (K1 assault rifle) without a licence, in breach of Section 27 (2) (b) of the Firearms Act.
In submissions, Akuire admitted to the offence, saying that there was no criminal intent.
She said she had not known that what she did at the time was an offence.
Akuire told the court that when she requested to handle the firearm, the policeman obliged to her request and gave her the firearm but told her that it was not right to ask for the firearm.
She told the court that she thought there was no issue with what she did once the policeman gave her permission to hold the firearm.
Akuire said it was unfair that the policeman had allowed her to commit a crime and another officer arrested her.
Police prosecutor Snr Const Mol Siboa agreed with Akuire’s submission, saying that the police officer should have denied her request and explained the law to her.
He asked the court to caution Akuire and impose a monetary fine.
Akuire’s K500 bail was converted to pay for her fine.
On July 3, a picture of Akuire posing with the firearm had gone viral on Facebook.
Police officers tracked her down to her residence at Banksia St, Garden Hill, Port Moresby. She was taken in for questioning and admitted that she was not a member of any disciplinary force and had no licence to carry a firearm.