18-year sentence for Morobe murder

A man from the Huon Gulf area in Morobe will spend the next 16 years in Buimo jail after he admitted to killing a mentally ill man in 2016.

Jimmy Somo of Gomena village pleaded guilty before the Lae National Court to attacking Kove Gomena, which led to his death.

Gomena died on 5 March 2016 from injuries inflicted by his biological brother, Sep Gomena and Somo.

The deceased that day armed himself with two bush knives and was acting violently. In the course of this, he was said to have cut the baby who was then sleeping in a bilum.

In retaliation, men from the community charged at the deceased, who dropped the bush knife and surrendered to them.

Sep, upon seeing that his baby was dead, ran towards Kove and cut him on his left and right hand.

Somo came into the scene and plunged a spear into Kove’s chest before cutting him on his neck using the bush knife. He died instantly.

The National Court, in sentencing Somo, ruled that his actions were unjustified because the deceased had already dropped his weapon and surrendered.

He was sentenced to 18 years in jail with hard labour. He spent one year, 10 months and three weeks in pre-trial custody. That period was suspended from the head sentence.

His co-accused, Sep, will stand trial in the Lae National Court at a later date over his part in attacking the deceased.

Sally Pokiton