A MAN who intimidated his sister and had in his possession a homemade firearm has been sentenced to a total of 30 months in jail on Monday.
Principal Magistrate Augustine Aulanga, when handing down the sentence, also ordered that the firearm be forfeited to the Police and destroyed.
The period of time Charles Ghora spent in custody is to be deducted from this sentence.
He was sentenced after entering guilty pleas to two counts of intimidation and another of in possession of a firearm.
Mr Aulanga said the usual tariff of the sentence for intimidation handed by the Courts ranged from bound over, suspended sentence, six months custodial sentence or even two years depending on the circumstances of the offending, the mitigating and aggravating features and the personal circumstances of the offender.
The maximum penalty for the offence of in possession of firearm is $3,000 fine or five years imprisonment or both fine and imprisonment.
In relation to the intimidation charge, Mr Aulanga told Ghora that he intimidated his sister once on 11 April 2015 and again intimidated her and her husband on 6 June 2015.
These incidents were committed on two locations at Small Gela, Central Province, when Ghora was armed with a long bush knife.
The firearm charge was in relation to an incident on 9 November 2015 where police were informed that he was in possession of a homemade gun.
Mr Aulanga told Ghora he intimidated the two complainants whilst he was armed with a bush knife.
“On those occasions, you planned to carry them out and not one that happened by accident.
“You had to go to their village or location to threaten them.
“Not only that, but on one occasion, you ordered them to leave their house under extreme duress.”
Mr Aulanga further told Ghora that the complainants had to relocate and made homeless by his irrational and senseless act.
“Further, these two victims were your family members who you ought to respect them and resolve whatever disagreement or grudges you have against them in a mature and appropriate manner.
“You ignored all these but decided to take the law into your own hands.”
Regarding the firearm charge, Mr Aulanga told Ghora that the concerning aggravating features in this particular charge is his deliberate ignorance and gross defiance of the lawful order from the State which he continued to possess or harbor a firearm when it was now forbidden or outlawed in our country after the ethnic tension.
“I take into account your lawyer’s submission that you merely kept it inside your house after it was left by one of your friends.
“You never at any time used it against any villager.
“Therefore, the appropriate penalty in my view to reflect your offending is six months imprisonment.”
Mr Aulanga also considered the mitigating factors on his case on which he is a married person with two children, he has no prior conviction, he pleaded guilty to the offences, he has good prospect of rehabilitation and that he is the only male person in his family and his parents relied heavily on him for support.
During mitigation on the last court hearing, MrGhora’s lawyer submitted his client was not happy with his sister and brother in-law because his brother in law did not pay his sister’s bride price.
Lazarus Waroka of Public Solicitor’s Office represented Ghora while Public Prosecutor Olivia Ratuappeared for the state.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN