12 years for bush knife attack on man

A penalty imposed by the court must be the personal responsibility of the offender and he should not rely on his relatives to assist in terms of compensation.

Compensation on the other hand, defeats the purpose of criminal law.

This message was echoed by the National Court on Friday by Justice Panuel Mogish when giving his penalty sentence to a 25 year old man who viciously attacked another man using a bush knife.

Ageru Lea, from the Abau District, was sentenced to 12 years in prison after he was found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm to Willie Sioro that left him with permanent injuries.

Lea attacked Sioro on March 3, 2015, cutting him twice on his left forearm and his right foot.

He claimed he was provoked by Sioro who had earlier chased him with a rubber gun to his father’s house. In retaliation, he took a bush knife and attacked Sioro.

The victim had to be taken by dinghy to Alotau where he received medical attention for the injuries he sustained.

During the trial, Sioro travelled from his remote village in the Abau district to court where he gave evidence against Lea.

Using crutches to walk into court and give evidence, it was shown to the court that he sustained permanent injuries from the attack.

“You still have the function of your left forearm and right foot. What you did to the victim has left him permanently disabled. He cannot do the things that normal people do and enjoy,” Justice Mogish told Lea in court.

“In my view a non-custodial sentence would be a generous sentence. Why should you enjoy the benefits of life when the victim continues to suffer from the wounds that you have inflicted on him?

Lea apologised to the court for his actions after he was convicted, asking for a non-custodial sentence and that he pay compensation instead.

“So far as compensation goes, there is no evidence before me that you can pay compensation to the victim. I have said in previous cases that any penalty imposed by the court must be the personal responsibility of the offender.

“He should not rely on his relatives to assist.  He should personally feel the pain meeting this responsibility,” the judge added.

Lea spent three months in custody which will be deducted from the head sentence of 12 years. He will now serve 11 years, nine months in jail with hard labour.

The court ordered his bail monies of K500 be converted to compensation and given to the victim.


Sally Pokiton