BY JENNIFER KUSAPA
A man who was found guilty for killing another man has been given a life sentence, with chances for parole after 12 years.
The murder took place at Avatai village, Lavaggu, west Rennell on February this year.
High Court Judge Justice Maelyn Bird after imposing a life sentence also made orders that the minimum sentence the defendant will serve before entitled to parole is 12 years.
shley Ghapuika was charged with one count of murder contrary to section 200 of the Penal Code (Cap 26).
Justice Bird said the charge of murder is one of the most serious of offences prescribed under the laws in the country, to manifest its seriousness, the maximum sentence that the courts will impose is one mandatory life imprisonment.
The incident occurred on February 15, 2021 between 7am and 8am, the deceased and one other went to light their solbako smoke at a kitchen, when the defendant went into the kitchen holding a 24 inches long bush knife.
“You went and stood behind the deceased and cut the deceased behind his neck and pulled out the knife full of blood. The deceased slowly fell down on the floor of the kitchen. You were still standing behind him. You held the knife and hid it behind your legs, you then retreated to the kitchen door, went out from the kitchen and escaped along the road towards Lake Tegano, the deceased was transport to Tigoa Mini Hospital but died,” Ms Bird said.
Bird also said according to the autopsy report dated February 16, 2021 by Dr Roy Maraka, it shows injuries to the neck causing death.
Upon conviction for the offence of murder, the courts are obliged to impose the mandatory life imprisonment on an offender. Apart from imposing that sentence, the court is also required to determine and consider the minimum sentence that the accused must serve before he/she is entitled for parole.
“I must take into account the facts of your case, the aggravating and the mitigating features tother with case authorities in this jurisdiction.
“I have also taken note that whilst in remand in custody, you have involved yourself in prayer activities and bible studies, I must say that it is a way forward for yourself and you are expected to live a changed life onwards. Learn from this mistake and try not to reoffend in future,” Bird said.
Margaret Suifa’asia and Martha Matukera of the Office of the Director Public Prosecution appears for the crown while Allan Tinoni of the Public Solicitor’s Office represents the accused