Youth gets life sentence

Crimes committed by young people in the country are getting out of hand and if one commits crime like an adult, they must be sentenced like an adult.

This was the warning Justice Panuel Mogish gave in the Waigani National Court when sentencing a youth to life in prison today.

He said it is sickening to come to court and apologise to families of the deceased in the hope of getting a lesser sentence after being found guilty by the court.

Gibson Maraen was found guilty on May 31 over the wilful murder of Wari Kuni, at Nine-Mile in 2015.

Justice Mogish found Maraen guilty for brutally chopping Kuni on his face and head on 10 December 2015, which resulted in his death.

The deceased was chopped on the head four times while the weapon, an axe, was left imbedded on the head.

The two were among a group of men who consumed alcohol that day when a fight broke out at 3pm. He went home soon after.

At around 6pm, Maraen left the house and attacked Kuni with an axe. The deceased tried to tackle Maraen but slipped and fell in the process.

The court heard, he swung the axe at the deceased, cutting him on the right side of his face, right side ear and the left side of his face on the fourth occasion.

He left the axe imbedded in the head of the deceased, uttering the words “Pikinini blo Michael Somare, yu go lo heven nau”, before giving a thumbs up as he walked away and got into a white car.

Maraen told the court during the trial he acted in self-defense.

It was a case of who to believe and the court believed the evidence of eyewitness, Joyce Kuno, the sister of the deceased. She had followed him out the house that afternoon after the fight earlier.

The court rejected Maraen’s evidence of self-defense.

“Did the accused intend to kill the deceased? The answer is yes. Soon after he chopped the deceased, he uttered the words to the effect. He then did a thumbs up before walking away,” Justice Mogish said in his decision on May 31.

Sally Pokiton