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Judge Lenient To First Offender, Promotes Rehabilitation

Judge Lenient To First Offender, Promotes Rehabilitation
August 25
11:08 2018

Being a first offender and to promote rehabilitation, a man charged with aggravated burglary and theft, was handed a suspended sentence by High Court judge Justice Chamath Morais yesterday.

On April 20, 2018 the accused Seniua Wati Tikoivanuabalavu broke into and entered Olimiva Tabua’s house in Raiwaqa as a trespasser with intent to commit theft.

After breaking into the house, the accused while accompanied by another stole items with the intention to permanently deprive Ms Tabua of her properties.

The items included a Modyl Washing Machine valued at $350, a black safety boot valued at $160, a black boot valued at $150 and a radio valued at $60.

All to the total value of $720.

Two days before the break in on April 18, 2018 the complainant went to Tailevu with her two daughters to attend a funeral.

She received a call on the day of the incident that her house had been broken into.

She returned the day after and found that the back door and window were broken and her household items were missing.

During his caution interview the accused admitted that he was drinking beside the complainant’s house with his accomplice when he was told to go and carry the washing machine from the house.

His accomplice removed the louvres from the windows, jumped inside the house and passed the washing machine to the accused to carry it.

The accused then saw two pairs of boots and a portable radio which he packed inside an old bag and took it with him.

Full recovery of the stolen items was made.

In his sentence Justice Morais said burglary of homes must be regarded as serious offences.

“A home is a private sanctuary for a person. People are entitled to feel safe and secure in their homes,” he said.

“Any form of criminal intrusion of privacy and security of people in their homes must be dealt with condign punishment to denounce the conduct and deter others.”

Justice Morais outlined the aggravating factors and said there was no significant damage done to the property except that it was ransacked.

“The items removed were recovered. Intrusion occurred when the owner was not at home and no prior planning was involved.”

In mitigation he took into consideration the accused’s early guilty plea, his expression of remorse and his previous good character.

Tikoivanuabalavu was sentenced to two years imprisonment suspended for five years.

Edited by Percy Kean

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