The National, Monday July 8th, 2013
A WOMAN from Forok village on the east coast of Wewak, East Sepik, has been given a suspended jail sentence for unlawfully wounding her brother in-law.
But Justice Nicholas Kirriwom suspended the sentence and placed her on six months probation which will include community work by cleaning around a church area for 10 hours a week.
The court also ordered her to keep peace and be on good behaviour for two years.
According to the depositions, Anna Eddie’s husband had left for Kimbe, West New Britain, where he married another woman.
When Eddie heard he had returned on Nov 20, 2011, and was at the church, she went to confront him armed with a bush knife.
“The victim then intervened to defend his brother with a guitar to block the knife but the knife cut through the guitar,” Kirriwom said.
Eddie’s statement, however, said the victim attacked her with the guitar and smashed it on her head.
Eddie retaliated and swung the knife cutting him on his right arm. He fractured his radius and five tendons were severed.
In his ruling, Kirriwom said the offence carried a maximum penalty of three years imprisonment under section 322 (1) (a) of the Criminal Code but he took into account that the accused, among others, pleaded guilty, was a first time offender and the attack was not premeditated.
“I look at this woman’s predicament not purely from the perspective of her criminal or offending behaviour,” the judge said.
“Often courts jump to the conclusion that an offender deserves punishment just by looking at the nature of the act without appreciating the underlying causes that led to the commission of the offence.”