* Child abuser, molester guilty
* Court hears submissions for Goufi, Keota
* Tikopia murder case today
Child abuser, molester guilty
A MAN has been found guilty after a trial for intimidating a 12 year-old girl in Honiara in August this year.
Nick Pitamama has stood trial for one count of intimidation and molestation before Deputy Chief Magistrate Ricky Iomea.
In his judgment yesterday, Mr Iomea said he is satisfied that the evidence of the victim was reliable and credible.
“I am satisfied that when asked a number of questions and being offered money by a complete stranger can be intimidating especially to a 12 year old child,” Mr Seuika said.
Mr Seuika said the victim is a witness of truth and therefore he accepted her evidence that the manner in which the accused talked to her made her afraid and frightened.
“This is supported and confirmed by Prosecution Witness 2 (PW2) based on her observation of the victim at that time.
“I do not believe the defendant’s account that he was only joking to the victim.”
Having satisfied that the prosecution has proved the charge against the defendant beyond doubt, he found Pitamama guilty as charged and convict him accordingly.
The matter will return to the court again on November 8 for sentencing submissions and mitigation.
Pitamama intimidated the victim at the Honiara City Council bus stop area at about 3pm on August 21.
The victim and her little sister were on their way home after attending a Church program at the Wesley United Church opposite the Honiara Central Market when the accused called out to her.
The accused asked her where she is from and where she is going and then later told her that he is her uncle.
Pitamama then asked the victim to sit down so that they can continue to talk but she however refused.
When victim refused to sit down, the accused showed her money telling her he will pay her lunch.
She however ran away from Pitamama and went to where her little sister was standing in front of the Central Magistrates’ Court.
The victim’s big sister who came in a bus saw what had happened came and asked the victim what had happened and led her to where Pitamama was standing.
Pitamama denied talking to the victim or did anything to her.
The victim was at that time crying very loudly and her hands were shaking, as according to her sister’s evidence.
The court heard when the victim’s sister continues asking Pitamama what happened, Pitamama became angry and started to raise his voice attracting a crowd of people.
A law enforcement officer later came and took Pitamama to their office.
Pitamama in his defence said he was only making jokes with the victim.
He said they had talked for a long time and then the victim ran away.
Mr Iomea said the victim, her sister and Pitamama in their evidence confirmed the victim ran away from Pitamama.
“The question is why she had to run away if the defendant was only joking.”
He then having considered the entire evidence and the manner in which the young victim gave her evidence in court, Mr Iomea was satisfied that her evidence was reliable and credible.
He said her evidence was supported and confirmed by her sister’s evidence based on her observation of the victim at that time.
Pitamama is representing himself in this matter while Police Prosecutor Elson Konle appears for the Crown.
Court hears submissions for Goufi, Keota
SUBMISSIONS on the minimum term for the men who murdered a Chinese couple in Honiara last April to serve in jail before they can be considered for parole has been made at the High Court last week.
Chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer having heard those submissions had reserved his ruling.
So far no date has been fixed for the ruling.
Raymond Keota and the couple’ security guard Jimson Goufi have been convicted after a trial for the couples’ murder and were sentenced to life imprisonment in September.
Sir Albert described in his judgment in September that the two men were the persons involved in the cruelest and inhumane killing of two innocent Chinese couple going about their daily business at LGZ shop.
The two men denied their involvement in this incident but were convicted after the court heard evidences from Crown witnesses and seen CCTV footages and images extracted from CCTV cameras inside the LGZ building.
The two victims operated three businesses from the same premises, a Kai Bar or Restaurant, Bottle Ship and the LGZ shop.
Their dead bodies were discovered on the morning of 17 April 2017 by Goufi who was the couple’s security guard and the couple’s shop keepers.
On the evening of 15 April 2017, the couple’s security Goufi let Keota inside the shop when all the shop keepers had already left.
Whilst inside, Keota was seen standing at the counter for some time before pulling out a long bush knife, jumped over the counter and struck Gong Zhen Lao (husband) who was behind the shop counter.
Goufi then went and got hold of the same bush knife and repeatedly struck the victim which landed the victim on the floor.
Keota attacked Lao’s wife with a kitchen knife when she came out from the kitchen to check on her husband after hearing noises.
He allegedly wounded her throat with the kitchen knife.
When she was no longer breathing, both accused then allegedly helped themselves looting money from the shop cashier and bottle shop, packed it in a school bag before exiting the building.
The following morning Goufi and other female workers of the shop went to work and discovered that the couple were dead.
Police alleged it was Goufi who climbed the fence and went into the building and upon his return informed the female workers the couple were dead inside the shop.
Both accused then allegedly escaped to Malaita after the killing.
Goufi first escaped from police in Malaita but then surrendered on 15 May last year while Keota was arrested on 21 May last year.
Deputy Public Solicitor George Gray and Public Solicitor’s lawyer Michael Holara are representing the two accused.
Appearing for the Crown is the Director of Public Prosecutions Ronald Bei Talasasa and Public Prosecutors Margaret Suifa’asia and John Wesley Zoze.
Tikopia murder case today
THE man accused of the rape and murder of a 10 year-old girl at a village on Tikopia Island, Temotu province will appear again in court today.
Harrison Forau who faces one count of murder will appear in the Honiara Magistrates’ Court where he will confirm if he already has a lawyer to represent him.
He told the court on the last court occasion that he already made a request for a lawyer to the Public Solicitor’s Office.
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions also on the last court occasion said the file is yet to be allocated to a prosecutor.
Forau is accused of raping the alleged victim on evening of 4 October 2018 at Namo village which resulted in the death of the alleged victim.
The alleged incident was said to have occurred during a community function in a nearby bush near the seaside.
The body of the alleged victim was found floating in the nearby Lake Teroto.