A MAN who lied to four people and stole more than $21,000 from them early this year in Honiara has been sentenced to a total of four and a half years in prison, Monday.
Danny Lapa was also ordered to make full repayments of $21,400 to his four victims 28 days after his release from prison.
If he fails to make the repayments he will serve an additional eight months in jail.
Lapa was sentenced after pleading guilty to three counts of false pretence and one count of obtaining credit by false pretence.
Principal Magistrate Fatima Taeburi told the court yesterday that Lapa lied to three different people saying that he has a carton of cigarettes to sell at a cheap price.
“Through his lies, he obtained $2,000 from the first complainant, $10,000 from the second complainant, and $7,000 from the third complainant,” Taeburi said.
The fourth complainant is a taxi driver whom Lapa engaged his taxi but failed to pay his bill of $2,400.
Taeburi said Lapa did not repay the complainants any single cent of the money he lied and stole from them.
“He never apologised to them for their dishonesty,”
Taeburi also considered the loss suffered by the complainants.
The first incident happened on January 10 at China Town, Honiara.
The complainant was standing outside his cab when Lapa approached him.
They were telling stories when Lapa told him he had a carton of Pall Mall cigarettes for sale at $5,000.
The complainant gave $2,000 to Lapa and mentioned the outstanding payment will be made upon the receipt of the Pall Mall.
Lapa went in the complainant’s cab and they made a stop at Fijian Quarter before they headed eastbound.
Having reached Kukum Lapa told the complainant to wait for him.
Lapa took off and never came back with the $2, 000.
Eight days later, Lapa went into the shop of the second complainant at Point Cruz and told the complainant he was an agent for Solomon Tobacco Company
He told her he was selling carton of Pall Mall for $5,000 and if she bought more, he would give her an extra cartons.
The complainant was convinced and gave her $10,000 for two cartons and they went together to Tobacco Company.
At JBM area, just close to the Tobacco Company, Lapa told the complainant to get out of the vehicle and to wait for him there.
Lapa however never return to the complainant and escaped with the money.
On February 11, Lapa approached the third complainant at Baha’i area and convinced him he was the cargo store agent at ABA shop.
From his lies, he obtained $7,000 from this complainant and escaped from her while they were at ABA shop.
They searched for Lapa but could not find him until the next day the complainant in the first matter sighted him at Town Ground shopping centre.
Lapa escaped from the complainant but was chased and caught opposite the Kalala Haus.
He was taken to the Central Police Station and all the complainant came forward and identified him as the person who deceived and took their money.
On May 28, a taxi driver picked Lapa at Lau Valley in his taxi and Lapa directed him to pick up a boy at Gilbert Camp to pay for Pall Mall Cigarettes.
They went to Fishing Village for the boy’s father to pay the Pall Mall cigarettes but the boy’s father refused.
They further travelled to White River in East Honiara and then to Tenaru in Guadalcanal.
At Tenaru the taxi driver asked Lapa to pay his bills but Lapa told the driver they would receive a huge sum of monies.
They then travelled down to Kastom Gaden, back to Henderson, and then to Chinatown.
After travelling around in the taxi, Lapa and the driver slept in the taxi at Point Cruz wharf.
The next day Lapa told the driver to just drive around town and when they reached Fangs Shop at Chinatown, Lapa gave the driver $50 for him to go and pay a bottle of water.
Whilst the driver was in the shop, Lapa drove away with the taxi.
He was later located at Forum Fisheries area where he was taken down to Central Police Station.
Steven Weago of the Public Solicitor’s Office represented Lapa while Public Prosecutor Steward Tonowane appeared for the Crown.