Parker gets 13-year sentence

The owner of Golden Valley Enterprise and Jiwaka man, Justin Parker, has been given a jail term of 13 years by the Waigani National Court.

Parker was found guilty on May 29 for manslaughter over the unlawful assault of Lapan Nason on June 6, 2015, that led to his death two days later.

He was convicted on the lesser homicide charge of manslaughter, after he stood trial over the charge of wilful murder.

Trial judge and Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika, in sentencing Parker, said the violence applied on the late Nason and the confrontational behaviour by Parker was totally unnecessary.

“There is indeed far too many cruel, violent, deliberate, wilful, unjustifiable and senseless killings as happened in this case. There appears to be no end in sight for such killings,” he said when imposing an imprisonment term of 13 years.

A custodial period of 18 months has been deducted by the court from the jail term.

Parker will serve a balance of 11 years and 6 months in jail, with no suspension.

“The court must be seen to be protecting human life because life is lived only once in this world. The sanctity and value of life is more precious and valuable than material wealth, silver, gold or diamond.

“No amount of compensation in monetary terms, regret or remorse is ever going to restore a life that is lost,” Sir Gibbs said in court.

The court, in deciding its sentence, also took into account the K90,000 Parker spent on the haus krai of the late Nason, but Sir Gibbs said the court is under the obligation to be firm and sentence the prisoner accordingly.

Following a trial, the court was satisfied Parker unlawfully assaulted Nason between 4am and 6am of 6 June, 2015, because he failed to turn up for work the previous day, which was an important day for Parker.

Lapan was hired as the chief engineer of Parker’s company to assist him with a helicopter he had purchased overseas. On 5 June 2015, CASA was to inspect and certify the helicopter for use. Nason was not there for the inspection.

The court was told during the trial that Nason had not been performing well at work because he was not being paid.

He was verbally fired by Parker that morning at 4am before the assault took place. 

Parker told the court he acted in self-defence after Nason punched him. The court did not believe his evidence because there was no evidence of injuries on him after the assault.

After the assault, Parker left and went back to his home and watched TV while Nason’s daughter called around to her father’s friends to assist them that morning. 

Parker told the court during the trial that he offered to take him to the hospital but Nason’s daughter refused.

The trial judge said on May 29 that Parker offered to take him to the hospital after realising he caused more injuries to Nason than he anticipated and there was no need to seek permission from the daughter to take him to a hospital.

The court heard during the trial that after the assault, Hagai, the security guard who also witnessed the events that unfolded that night, was asked by Nason’s daughter to go find a taxi. Instead he went to see Parker.

Hagai was earlier told by Parker to remove the tires of Nason’s vehicle outside the house before he assaulted Nason. He was also arrested and charged in relation to the offence, but his case was dismissed by the Committal Court.

(Justin Parker walking out of the court precinct after he was found guilty on May 29. He is now serving time at Bomana – Loop PNG file picture)

Sally Pokiton
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