People must learn to behave responsibly: Court

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The Magistrate Court has issued a strong word of advice urging people to learn to behave responsibly and not to take the law into one’s own hand – especially when under influence of alcohol.

Principal Magistrate Augustine Aulanga issued the statement when he sentenced a high-profile national rugby player, Daniel Saomatangi, yesterday to two and half years’ imprisonment for common assault and grievous harm yesterday.

“There is no excuse or exception for that even if you drink alcohol. Therefore, it is important that nowadays, people must learn to behave responsibly and not to take the law into their own hands as a means of resolving their anger when under the influence of alcohol.

“People must also learn to think first and resolve their grudges or anger in lawful and appropriate ways because by not doing so, it will lead to committing a crime like the present case.”

Aulanga, in passing judgement, explains that the sentence imposed will not only reflect Mr Saomatangi’s personal factors but one that must send a clear message to the defendant and the general public that committing grievous harm injury or any serious violent crimes on other persons will not be tolerated by the court.

He said the accused as the one who committed the crime, is not the only person that becomes the centre of focus when it comes to sentencing. The interest of the victims of crime must be equally considered as well and should not be let down by the court.

Aulanga also said that the victims of any case expect justice from the court and they must have a voice when it comes to sentencing.

“Therefore, the courts of this country must be unwavering and stand against serious violent offences and should not shirk or evade their duties when it comes to the need for deterrence.”