A MAN involved in an armed robbery at a Kukum shop has been sentenced to two years, six months in prison yesterday.
Bonnieface Laumanu Oiofa, 27, was jailed for one count of armed robbery.
He was charged along with six other men but only three accused have been charged and held in custody.
The trio are Oiofa, Paul Wusi and Alen Sale.
Sale was granted bail on a later date but had since been absconding bail until now.
Oiofa earlier denied the charge in October last year and a trial date was fixed for 9 May 2015.
On 17 March 2015, Oiofa decided to change his plea and entered a guilty plea.
He and his six friends were robbed MJS shop at Kukum market area on the evening of 16 April 2014.
The court heard yesterday that they entered the shop and ordered all customers and shop keepers to vacate it.
It was heard that Oiofa was armed with a bush knife and demanding customers to vacate the shop immediately as he was standing at the entrance of the shop.
Oiofa and his friends removed one carton of Pall Mall cigarette and $28,535 cash of which Oiofa received $700.
Public Solicitor’s lawyer George Gray, who represented the accused, had asked the court to take into consideration the circumstances surrounding this case.
He said the accused is very remorseful as indicated in his attitude to plead guilty, he is a first-time offender, he is a young man, he cooperates with police and that he was drunk at the time of the incident and could not make good judgments.
He also submitted that though he involved in the incident, he was not responsible for injuring the Chinese person in the shop.
Principal Magistrate Jim Seuika having considered the circumstances surrounding the case, said the accused involvement in this case is vital in terms of sentencing.
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“He is among the group who actually planed the move to steal, he was armed with a bush knife standing in front of the shop, ordering customers to move out of the shop immediately, and the action was done.”
Mr Seuika accepted the fact that a delay has been involved in this case, however, he said he has gone through the records of this case, and was satisfied that the causes of the delay was from the making of the accused and his lawyer.
A starting point of three years imprisonment was imposed.
After considering the mitigation submitted by Oiofa’s lawyer, six months imprisonment term has been deducted.
The sentence was backdated to the time the accused spent in custody.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN