BY JENNIFER KUSAPA
PRINCIPAL Magistrate Augustine Aulanga has sentenced a man with 44 prior convictions to one month for drunk disorderly yesterday.
Magistrate Aulanga in his sentence said the accused, Nick Pitamama, is not a first time offender and had been sentenced for this offence on two occasions in the past.
He never learnt from the past and continued to cross the red line. His 44 prior convictions showed he did not positively reform himself and by implication, he treated the past sentences imposed on him with ridicule and mockery, Aulanga said.
Mr Pitamama, who pleaded guilty to one count of drunk and disorderly, is not new to committing crimes. He has 44 prior convictions which span from 1993 – 2013.
Aulanga said out of the 44 convictions, two of them were drunk and disorderly offences and this will be his third.
“Why he has no leant from his past sentences is not clear. The fact that he committed again this offence that he has been sentenced of in the past shows that past sentences did not have any effect of positively reforming him to become a law abiding person,” Aulanga said.
Aulanga said for this charge, the facts of the case showed that on May 17 this year at about 2.40pm, the accused was drunk and behaved disorderly and was holding a stone in his right hand in front of the Central Magistrates Court. He was shouting loudly and moving about in an aggressive manner that attracted the attention of the public or the crowd.
It was during that time that police patrol team came by and apprehended him, placed him in the police vehicle and escorted him to the central police station, Aulanga said.
“Few things I see that aggravate how he committed the offence. First, he was armed with a stone and very aggressive and uncontrollable. This has the potential to terrify the public or someone who he was angry with the material time. Second, he committed the offence at the Central Magistrate’s Court vicinity. He should know that this building represents the third arm of the government called ‘the judiciary’ in so far as the separation of powers in a democratic country like Solomon Islands is concerned. By shouting loudly and moving around with a stone in his hand at the court’s vicinity, he utterly disrespected the court’s premises and those who worked and attended to the normal business of the magistracy.
“In fairness to him, I take into account his early guilty plea, being a family man with two children and his remorse. He said sorry for what he did and said that the last time he was in prison was in 2013. He is currently working for a private law firm called Rano and Company. I give him full credit for that,” Aulanga said.
He also said criminal cases are not only for punishment but to ensure the offender does not repeat it again in the future. And if the sentence does little or no effect at all to a particular repeated offender, the Court must also be sensitive to this failure and adjust how it will sentence that offender accordingly.
“The accused as of now must seriously learn to reform his behaviour and ways if he wants to stop seeing the court and treat Rove Prison as his second home in the future.
“Though taking into account that his family will be affected, perhaps in future, he should choose what is best for his family – whether to drink alcohol and commit a crime so that he will end up in jail or to settle down; stay out of crime and engage in positive things that will help him and his family,” Aulanga said.