BY JENNIFER KUSAPA
A 57-year-old man from Rennell has received a two-month jail term for unlawful damage, criminal trespass and resisting arrest.
Billy No’apai of Rennell Island, Rennel Bellona province, yesterday was convicted following his guilty plea.
However, he was released at the rising of the court as he had already spent two months in custody while awaiting his case to be dealt with by the court.
Principal Magistrate Fatimah Taeburi said the argument between Noapai and the complainant arose out of a long-standing land dispute between their families.
“I must however remind the convict and others that there are lawful means of resolving land issue, taking law into one’s own hands is not the solution but rather will escalate the situation and will only bring more problems,” Taeburi said.
Taeburi said in relation to the charge of resisting arrest, the court must make it clear that the institution of the police must be respected by the public, this is because the role of the police in the society is very crucial, they ensure that law and order and stability are maintained.
“Imagine what it would be like without police officers to enforce law and order,” Taeburi said.
Taeburi after considering the facts and mitigation provided by the defence counsel imposed a sentence of two months.
The facts before the court said the incident occurred in Rennel in which Noapai argued with the complainant in front of the complainant’s house.
Noapai went back to his house took a bush knife and returned to the complainant’s house; he went into the complainant’s property uninvited and cut down the complainant’s pawpaw tree and coconut trees.
Police at Rennell went to arrest him the next day, he refused to comply with directions and resisted arrest.