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In court with Assumpta Buchanan

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Murder case to be referred to DPP

POLICE prosecution will transfer the case of a young man accused of killing his relative at Burns Creek early this month to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Kelly Iroga, 22, of Malaita was charged with the murder of his relative on February the 5th.

Police alleged that he was not happy that someone cut his plants.

Despite being told by an uncle that his plants will regrow, Iroga went in search for the deceased who was at that time on his way to fetch water at the water pump.

The accused allegedly approached the accused and attacked him by slapping him and kicking him until he was lying on the ground.

The deceased was taken to the National Referral Hospital but died later.

Iroga will appear in court again, March 7.


Case adjourned over age dispute

A HONIARA Magistrate has adjourned a case of a young accused following a dispute over his age between the prosecution and defence.

According to police record, the accused is 19 years old but the lawyer representing the accused said he is only 17.

Principle Magistrate Jim Seuika said he cannot hear the case until his age is established so that he knows which court will hear the case.

If he’s 17, his case will be heard in a juvenile’s court.

But until then, the accused has been remanded in custody awaiting the confirmation of his age.

The accused is facing a charge of simple larceny and another of criminal trespass for allegations last year.

Police alleged he trespassed into a Muslim Church house at Mbokonavera and stole a roll of carpet.


Man escapes jail

A MAKIRA man who has pleaded guilty to having sex twice with a 10-year-old girl last year in East Honiara escaped jail yesterday.

This was after Justice James Apaniai suspended the sentences he imposed for the 20-year-old man for a 12 year-period.

The accused pleaded guilty to one count of indecent assault, and two counts of defilement of a girl under the age of 13.

The maximum penalty of the indecent assault charge is five years while the defilement of a girl less than 13 years of age is life imprisonment.

Justice Apaniai imposed a four year imprisonment term for the indecent assault while eight months has been imposed for each of the defilement charges.

However, due to the strong mitigating factor on this case, he decided to suspend the sentence.

The incident happened on the outskirts of East Honiara on 7pm of February 12, last year.

The court heard the accused, believed to be between 19 and 20 years of age, and the young victim are neighbours.

The victim was coming out of her house when the accused called her over to him.

They went inside an old vehicle that was lying nearby and had sex in there.

A medical report of the victim showed she sustained no injuries during the encounter.

The accused was represented by the Public Solicitor’s office.


Five years for manslaughter

A MALAITA man was jailed for five years yesterday for causing the death of another man in 2009.

Chris Walenenea was found guilty of manslaughter after he was tried for murder.

This was in relation to an incident on June 20, 2009 along the Talakali road in Malaita.

The deceased and the accused were both travelling on the same public bus when the incident occurred.

Walenenea, who was sitting near the back of the bus later moved closer to where the deceased was sitting, and pulled out a knife.

The court also heard that there was a long standing dispute between Walenenea and the family of the deceased.

The deceased saw the knife and having feared for his life jumped out of the bus where he sustained injuries.

He died four days later at Kilu’ufi Hospital.

Justice Apaniai told Walenenea that his action is not the way to settle disputes.

He said the accused was drunk and gave no explanation why he went around with a weapon hidden in his clothes.

He added that the public would expect any sentence imposed being of a lengthy one.

He told Walenenea that what he did inside the bus was not a civilised way to solve disputes and that should be discouraged.

Nigel Galo of Public Solicitor’s Office represented Walenenea while Augustine Aulanga of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions appeared for the crown.