Youth gets 12 years for manslaughter

Juveniles who drink, fight and stab like adults should be punished like adults and not hide behind the cloak of youthfulness and think they can get away with committing horrendous crime.

Justice Panuel Mogish issued the stern warning at the Waigani National Court when sentencing a 19-year-old to 12 years in prison.

“You can come to court and say sorry and offer to pay compensation, but that will not bring his life back. He’s gone, finished!” he said.

“This is a case where the offender should be imprisoned. He has robbed the life of another young man, and I do not think it would do justice to the deceased if I were to impose a generous sentence.

“The warning to juveniles is simple, do not come to court and say, young people and be given a lenient sentence. Court will give punishment,” Justice Mogish told Manai Auwi in court.

Auwi was 17 years old at the time of the offence. He pleaded guilty to the charge of manslaughter.

He admitted to stabbing one of his friends, Andrew John, on the morning of 5 September 2015 at Vadavada settlement at East Boroko after a fight broke out.

The youths were drinking and an argument broke out. Auwi pulled out a knife to stab another person when John intervened and was stabbed in the chest.

He was rushed to the Port Moresby General Hospital but died from loss of blood.

Medical reports showed that there was incision over the left chest wall, which penetrated through the back left ventricle of the heart

“Being in possession of a lethal weapon, he should have used reasonable care and taken reasonable precaution to avoid stabbing those around him.

“Crimes committed by youths, coupled with abuse of alcohol, are rampant in the country. The offender acted like an adult, drank beer like an adult, got drunk like an adult and stabbed his friend like an adult.

“He must therefore be punished like an adult offender as a form of a deterrent sentence,” Justice Mogish added.

The court has suspended two years from Auwi’s sentence. He will spend a balance of 8 years, 3 months and 5 days in prison after the court ordered time he spent in custody, (1 year, 8 months, 3 weeks and 2 days) also deducted from the head sentence of 12 years. 

Sally Pokiton