A man who burnt down a house last year at a village in Guadalcanal Province has been sentenced to 18 months in prison, Wednesday.
Severo Koltoghe, 30, of Guadalcanal pleaded guilty to one count of escaping lawful custody and was found guilty after a trial for the charge of arson.
Principal Magistrate Ricky Iomea in his sentencing remarks said the sentence imposed will serve as a punishment to him for breaking the law and to the public, to be aware that those committing similar types of offences will expect to be treated in the same way by the courts.
“I bear in mind the principal of rehabilitation.
“The sentence that will be imposed on you will enable you to rehabilitate yourself in a meaningful way in preparation for your re-integration back into the society.”
A six months imprisonment was imposed for the charge of escaping lawful custody while 18 months imprisonment was imposed for the arson charge.
Both sentences were ordered to run concurrently meaning he will only serve 18 months in jail.
The court also ordered the time Koltoghe spent in custody was to be taken into account.
Koltoghe burnt a small leaf hut made of sago palm leaves and bush materials on 11 April, 204, built by the Complainant in his garden.
The leaf hut was used by the Complainant whenever he went to Barrick Village and also used by his brothers to watch over his melon garden if he was away.
Mr Iomea told Koltoghe that he has no right to burn the leaf hut.
The court heard Koltoghe burnt the hut as he was not happy with the Complainant because the Complainant’s brother has some problems with his niece.
“You had a motive for burning the house thus; your act was clearly willful.”
Koltoghe was represented by Stanley Aupai of Public Solicitor’s Office while Public Prosecutor Sirepu Ramosaea of State.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN