FOUR teenagers were told by a judge how they would destroy their lives by going to prison when he suspended their two-year jail term for robbery.
The National newspaper today reported that the teenagers had been in custody for more than a year and nine months.
“When you go to jail, you destroy your life especially when you are a young man and still in school,” Waigani National Court judge Justice George Manuhu told Jonny Bare (Chimbu), Lukail Joel (Southern Highlands) and Bonny Mavoko and Jethro Peter (Eastern Highlands) yesterday.
Justice Manuhu made the comments when he found them guilty of armed robbery of three women at the Kone Tigers Oval along a shortcut road leading to the Morata bus stop in Port Moresby last year.
“Stealing from others and receiving stolen property is not a good thing and it’s not a good crime as you have discovered. Many of you come to court and show that you are harmless but when you are outside, you become very violent by stealing from others and threatening them with very offensive weapons,” Justice Manuhu said.
He told the four that he hoped they were not pretending in court and it was up to them to be honest to themselves and be good. “The country is fed up of the type of crime all of you have committed and you all should be in harmony with each other. We should have respect of the female population because they are the same as our mothers and sisters.”
Justice Manuhu said he hoped Bare, Joel, Mavoko and Peter were genuine in their allocutus that they had learnt their lessons while in custody.
Justice Manuhu said if it was not genuine, they might appear in court again and he warned them that the penalty would not be the same.
The court sentenced them to two years imprisonment but suspended the sentence because they had served one year, nine months and a week in custody and discharged them.
Bare, Joel, Mavoko and Peter allegedly on Jan 5 last year held up Belinda, Molinda Dongme and Miriam Songa at gunpoint and stole properties including mobile phones, bankcards and K313.
It was also alleged that at the time the offence was committed, Bare was 18 years old and in Grade 8 at the Waigani Primary School, Joel, 16 and in Grade 6 at Morata Primary School, Mavoko, 18, but without formal education and Peter, 16 and Grade 4 at Boreboa Primary School.