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Court orders release

Shalveen Chand
Friday, June 06, 2014

A YOUNG man who has spent the past 13 months in prison was ordered to be released by the High Court after an appeal against the sentence of the Magistrates Court.

Ilaitia Koroi, 20, was charged with burglary and theft in April last year and he pleaded guilty to the offence.

He broke into a house in Nadi and stole a 40-inch LCD TV and three laptops.

He was sentenced to two years on each count and ordered to serve the term concurrently.

Koroi then filed for leave to appeal as the 28 days provided by the court to appeal had surpassed and the court took the appeal to be against the sentence.

Justice Sudharshana De Silva in his ruling said although the magistrate had identified the correct tariff for each offence, he fell into error when he selected two years as a starting point for each charge.

The court said the two years was well outside the tariff for the second offence and highest in the range for the first offence.

The court noted that all items were recovered and this was not considered by the magistrate.

The High Court ordered that Koroi's new sentence was now 16 months and since he had spent 13 months in custody, the remainder three months was being suspended for three years.

The court ordered that Koroi be released from prison.

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