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In court with Assumpta Buchanan

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Gold theft trial on tomorrow

THE trial of a Malaitan accused of stealing gold dust worth more than $400,000 continues this Friday.

The hearing, which started on Tuesday, could not proceed yesterday because the presiding magistrate was sick.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Emma Garo had the matter adjourned for tomorrow.

Jack Uramaefana was charged with one count of false pretence for allegedly stealing gold dust estimated to be valued at SBD$498,785.

Police prosecutor Ronnie Pisei in his opening address on Tuesday said that on September 20, 2012, having falsely represented himself as gold dealer, Uramaefana went about stealing Primo Sebastian’s gold ashes by pre-paying a room at the Testimony Motel at Lengakiki, Honiara, earlier on in the day.

“Later on in the afternoon the accused led Sebastian up to the Testimony Motel under the pretext of taking the complainant’s gold ashes to be bought by an Indian gold buyer who has got a room at the Motel.”

Mr Pisei said at the motel, Uramaefana convinced Sebastian that the gold buyer deals only with him and doesn’t trust anyone else.

“Under this representation, Sebastian handed over the gold to the accused and he took it into the motel and escaped with it out the back,” Mr Pisei said.

Prosecution has a total of six witnesses and is now half way through its second witness.

Stanley Aupai of Public Solicitor’s Office represents Uramaefana.


Accused to plead guilty to manslaughter

A MAN on trial for the death of a police officer last year at Lungga, East Honiara, will be entering a guilty plea to a manslaughter charge today.

The decision was based on the inconsistency of the evidence of two prosecution key witnesses who gave evidence in court.

Halfway through cross-examining of the second key witness, the prosecution decided to take up an earlier offer made by the defence for the accused to enter a guilty plea to manslaughter charge.

The prosecution was intending to call about five or six more witnesses in the trial.

Justice James Apaniai therefore adjourned the matter for today’s proceedings to take place.

Guadalcanal man, Rebsey Consinto, 22, was on trial as of last week for the alleged killing of a police officer opposite the Zome area, near the Lungga junction on August 21, last year.

It was alleged that the accused and the victim were drinking on that day when the incident took place.

The prosecution said Consinto struck the 20-year-old deceased who was also his cousin brother with a three cornered iron bar.

As a result, it was alleged the deceased sustained a fractured skull, exposing the brain.

He was taken to the National Referral hospital but died the following day.

Public Solicitor Douglas Hou represents Consinto while the Director of Public Prosecutions, Ronald Bei Talasasa and Nelson Dhita appear for the crown.


Buggery trial ends

The hearing of evidences on the case of a Temotu man accused of having unnatural sex with an eight year-old girl has been completed yesterday.

The 50-year-old accused will appear again in the High Court before Justice Pallaras on November 30 for further closing submissions.

The accused has been on trial for one count of buggery for an alleged incident committed on an eight year-old alleged victim between October 9 and November 13, last year.

The allegation took place at a cassava garden at Henderson, East Guadalcanal.

Allen Tinoni of Public Solicitor’s office represents the accused.


Gela man faces sentence

A GELA man found guilty of trying to rape an underage girl will be sentenced next month.

This was after the sentencing submissions were made on Tuesday in the High Court before Justice Stephen Pallaras.

Justice Pallaras adjourned the matter to December 11 for sentencing.

The 50 year-old accused was convicted of five counts of attempted rape and five counts of indecent assault charges in relation to incidents in 2007 and 2008 at Gela, Central Province.

He tried to rape a 13-year-old girl and also indecently assaulted her on many occasions.

The accused was initially on trial for nine counts of attempted rape and 11 counts of indecent assault in relation to the two victims, now aged 14 and 17.

But the court however, had the accused acquitted of four counts of attempted rape and six counts of indecent assault charge in relation to the younger victim.

This was due to her speech defect and was unable to give evidence during the trial.

The accused was represented by Stanley Aupai of Public Solicitor’s Office while Fatima Taeburi of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions is appearing for the crown.