NATION

First Time Offender Sentenced To One Year, 10 months

The imposition of suspended terms on first offenders infects society with a situation proposed as ‘First Offenders Syndrome’. This is a situation where people commit serious offences once in life
21 Jun 2018 12:47
First Time Offender Sentenced To One Year, 10 months

The imposition of suspended terms on first offenders infects society with a situation proposed as ‘First Offenders Syndrome’. This is a situation where people commit serious offences once in life under the firm belief that they would not be imprisoned as they are first offenders. The resultant position is that society is pervaded with crimes.

These were the words of High Court judge Justice Riyaz Hamza yesterday while sentencing 25-year-old Sairusi Nairoso to one year and 10 months imprisonment for aggravated burglary and theft.

Justice Hamza referred to a 2010 case presided over by Justice Priyantha Nawana where he held that the Court must “unreservedly guard itself against such a phenomenon, which is a near certainty if suspended terms are imposed on first offenders as a rule.”

Justice Hamza said it could not be denied that the two offences that Nairoso had committed were serious offences and the prevalence of such offences was rapidly increasing in society. As a result the safety and security of every law abiding citizen was at peril.

On January 23, 2018, Nairoso with two others entered Subrail’s Furniture Shop in Nabua as a trespasser with intent to commit theft.

On that same day he stole a Genpower brand generator valued at $499, a TCL brand 32 inch LED television valued at $849 and a TCL brand 40 inch LED television valued at $1299.

The total value of the stolen items was $2647.

The accused pleaded guilty to both charges and was convicted by Justice Hamza.

Nairoso submitted that between 3:30am and 5:30am, he was told by one Ledua Tikotani to follow him to the furniture shop where they entered through the back door which was open and he took a 32 inch LED flat screen television.

The aggravating factors were that the accused paid no regard to the privacy of the shop owner and there was some degree of pre-meditation in committing the offences.

In mitigation, Nairoso submitted that he was a first offender and had no previous convictions.

He fully co-operated with the Police and had sought the Courts forgiveness.

All the stolen property were recovered.

The Court heard that the accused resided with his 70-year-old father, de facto partner, sister and brother in law at Nanuku Settlement in Vatuwaqa.

On some occasion he worked as a delivery boy at Tappoo’s Bulk at Garden City, Raiwaqa earning $120 per fortnight.

He was said to be from an impoverished background and his mother had left his family in 2004 and moved on with a new relationship when he was only 11-years-old.

The accused studied only up to Form Two level education.

Justice Hamza refrained from setting a non-parole period after considering the fact that the accused had a high chance of rehabilitation. Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj



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