FOUR men convicted of violent robbery were told by the High Court in Suva that they were cowards who terrorised people with their masks and weapons.
Justice Salesi Temo told Sitiveni Tuisamoa, Samuela Beeby, Alipate Lesi and Peni Laselase they were looking at spending the next 14 years of their lives behind bars.
The four were convicted yesterday after Justice Temo concurred with the opinion of the assessors.
The court then proceeded to mitigation where first accused Tuisamoa, through his lawyer, told the court that he still maintained his innocence.
Justice Temo told Tuisamoa to consider his mitigation carefully because that would help the court decide whether to deduct or add years onto the sentence.
"People from Nausori to Nadi are living in their homes behind burglar bars because they are afraid of people like you, who don't have any respect for other properties," he said.
"You all have previous convictions of similar nature and what I can assume from that is that after spending three years or six months, you haven't learnt your lesson.
"I think 14 years will give you that message."
Justice Temo said the Court had a duty to protect the public from such criminals and to do that, a message was needed to be sent out to others relying on crime.
The four men in their mitigation asked for eight years as the maximum sentence.
State prosecutor Yogesh Prasad said in the interest of the public, the maximum sentence should be 14 years.
The court will sentence the men tomorrow.