Principal Magistrate Leonard Chite made this bench remark recently when sentencing a man who stabbed a father and a son during the New Year celebrations in the Lambi area, West Guadalcanal last year.
Joseph Timothy Tave, 25, was sentenced to a total of two and a half years in jail after pleading guilty to charges of grievous harm and unlawful wounding.
Chite in his sentencing remarks said that while he acknowledged that Tave was stepped on by another boy during his sleep and that the victims later assaulted him when he was restrained, what he did was simply unnecessary, utterly wrong, and illegal.
“A knife should never be used on or against a human being,” Chite said.
Chite said this type of behaviour belongs to our ancestors and the head-hunters so to speak, we have lived some hundred or more generations after those days.
“Such attitude and behaviour have no place in this country.
“I say this in bold condemnation against it.
“What good is it to see another person severely injured or dead before one’s eye?
“Nothing,” Chite added.
He further added that there is neither accolade nor gain in wounding another person, thus, such attitude and behaviour must be stopped and that the accused need to incorporate proper standards and self-control.
Chite said he noted Tave has issues with his temper and self-control.
“He obviously needs anger management to enable him to refrain from succumbing to violence and fighting.
“There are many peaceful ways to resolve issues or disputes, and violence is never one of them,” Chite said.
It was heard that on 31 December 2019, all people around Lambi area gathered to celebrate New Year 2020 at Jarupehe village.
Tave and some boys were drinking beer at Tarasisio’s house and he eventually fell asleep.
He suddenly cried in his sleep and one of the boys came and stepped on his ear.
Tave woke up and got angry.
He took a bush knife from the kitchen and cut the walling on Tarasisio’s house.
It was also heard that some of the boys tried to control him and fortunately they removed the bush knife from him.
The two victims came and kicked him.
It was then heard that Tave was taken to his brother in-law’s house where he went and took a bush knife and slashed it on a nearby market stall.
The victim, Tarasisio came to stop Tave from damaging the market stall but was cut by Tave instead.
Tarasisio’s son, Tonani came to assist his father and asked Tave why he cut his father.
Tave turned to him and also cut his right hand.
According to the facts, both victims were rushed to the National Referral Hospital and had been assisted by medical practitioners.
Chite said a bush knife is a dangerous and deadly weapon if applied on a human body will likely cause serious injury or to a certain degree death.
He said in this case, the victims suffered slash wounds on their bodies, for Tarasisio on his stomach and for Tonani, a severed radical nerve which will result in loss of movement on his left arm.
“The human arm plays an integral role in the life and function of a human being, it is an important part of the human body, the victim Tonani will likely to suffer loss of movement of his left arm, this will certainly affect his physical appearance, limit the work he does and other important roles that require the use of his left arm.”
Chite also took into account the accused’s early guilty plea, his past clean record, and his cooperation with the police.
He then imposed two years and six months imprisonment for the grievous harm charge and 21 months jail for the unlawful wounding charge.
He further ordered that the sentences run concurrently meaning the accused will serve the two and a six months imprisonment.
The time Tave spent in custody was also taken into account.
The maximum penalty for unlawful wounding is five years imprisonment and for grievous harm a sentence of 14 years imprisonment.
Ben Alasia of Public Solicitor’s Office represented Tave while Public Prosecutor Steward Tonowane appeared for the Crown.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN