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Two years in jail for thief

Shalveen Chand
Saturday, January 11, 2014

THE Suva Magistrates Court has sentenced a man in absence to two years in jail for stealing a mobile phone from two youngsters.

Magistrate Chetaniya Lakshman proceeded to a trial in absentia as the prosecution witnesses were present.

The magistrate said the accused, Avinesh Pillay, had attended all his court dates but was not present for the hearing which started on Thursday, and therefore he would proceed with the trial in Pillay's absence.

After the five witnesses were presented by police prosecutor Corporal Viliame Duguivalu, the court convicted Pillay of theft.

The court heard the two youngsters were sitting at a bus stop in Nasinu when Pillay snatched the mobile phone and ran off.

The court was also told Pillay had worked for Narere Transport, the owners of which were close with complainants' family and that was how they'd seen Pillay before.

After the trial, Mr Lakshman said the youngsters had taken a good look at Pillay and that the accused was known to the police as well.

He said there was no mistaking Pillay's identification. The court convicted Pillay and since he was absent, there was no mitigation. Mr Lakshman sentenced Pillay to two years in jail and issued a committal order for his arrest.

The court ruled Pillay would start serving his jail time from the time he is caught.

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