7 and a half years
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN
A MAN who stabbed another man with a kitchen knife in front of the Solrice area at Ranadi, East Honiara, last year was sentenced to seven and a half years imprisonment.
Fred Manu, 20, was initially charged with one count of murder but was later discharged from it after a nolle prosequi (no longer prosecute) was filed in respect of the charge on 19 September 2019.
Prosecution on that same day filed the amended manslaughter charge on Manu.
Judge Maelyn Bird when sentencing said some of the aggravating features of Manu’s case is the taking away of human life through his actions and that a weapon was used.
“The facts revealed that on the day of your offending, the deceased was drunk with two other individuals,” Bird told Manu.
She added that there is no evidence if Manu was also drunk and on that note, Manu was hereby assumed to be sober.
“An argument of a very trivial nature had developed between the deceased and yourself which had led into a fight.
“Being sober on that occasion, you should have been in a better position for restraint.
“Instead of restraining yourself, you have nonetheless run back to your house and took a small kitchen knife and went back to the scene.”
Bird added that the act of running back to his house to get a small kitchen knife is inexcusable in the circumstances as the deceased was not armed on that occasion.
“The use of a weapon against an unarmed individual is unthinkable and should not have happened at all,” Bird further added.
The incident happened on 2 January 2019.
Manu was walking towards the Uncle Alick Store at King George when he met the deceased Don and two other men who were drunk in front of the Solrice area.
He knew the deceased Don and had asked to exchange slippers with him.
Don, who was wearing a pair of Havaianas slippers at that time, refused to give his slippers to Manu.
The accused was leaving when Don punched him and a fight broke out between them.
Manu then ran back to his house and took a small kitchen knife and return to where Don was.
As Don approached Manu, another fight broke out between them.
It was during the fight that Manu stabbed Don on his right back side using the knife he took from his house.
Following the stabbing, Manu fled the scene running towards the Ranadi rubbish dumpsite.
Don’s wife took him to the Kukum Clinic by bus but on arrival at the clinic, it was overcrowded so she took him to the National Referral Hospital.
Unfortunately, Don died shortly thereafter.
Before handing down the sentence, Bird took into account the mitigating factors submitted on Manu’s behalf by his lawyer.
These include Manu entered a guilty plea to the manslaughter charge, he is a youthful offender, he cooperated with police during the investigation and a substantial compensation was paid by Manu’s father to the deceased’s relatives.
Bird said in Manu’s case he was provoked into committing the offence through the action of the deceased.
“He punched you during a fight.”
Bird, however, added that Manu’s action in using a weapon, being a kitchen knife is not excused as the deceased was not armed.
After imposing the seven and half years in imprisonment, Bird also ordered that the time Manu spent in pre-trial custody to be deducted from the total sentence.
Public Solicitor’s lawyer Benham Ifuto’o represented Manu while Public Prosecutor Andrew Kelesi appeared for the crown.