Man pleads guilty to aggravated robbery; judge pleased man did not listen to ‘bush lawyers’

High Court judge Justice Salesi Temo says he is pleased that a 25-year-old man who threatened a Nasinu supermarket cashier with a chopper and stole $168 did not listen to the “bush lawyers” in the remand centre who advised fellow remandees to plead not guilty.

He said this when Tiko Delai pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated robbery before the High Court in Suva yesterday.

The court heard that Delai robbed Nayan’s Supermarket at Pilling Rd Nasinu on March 20, and threatened a 38-year-old cashier with a chopper before taking $168 from the till.

The court also heard that Delai forewarned the supermarket security guard of his intention.

Delai told the court he had been drinking with friends on the day and they were talking about stealing to buy more drinks.

Justice Temo told Delai not to let alcohol control him and that it was a good thing Delai did not harm Ms Narayan.

As part of mitigation, the accused paid $1000 dollars to the court, and Justice Temo ordered $170 go to paying back the money stolen from the supermarket and $830 as compensation to Ms Narayan.

The prosecutor from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions said they were looking for an eight year custodial sentence, stating the tariff for the offence was from eight to 16 years imprisonment.

Justice Temo said he was of the view a custodial sentence should not be given.

“Rehabilitation is part and parcel of Section 4 (1) of the Sentencing and Penalties Act,” he said.

Justice Temo said the sentence must also be just, suit the interest of society, deter would be offenders and denounce the offence.

“He’s a first offender, he didn’t harm the complainant, he’s paid $1000 for the compensation of the complainants.”

Justice Temo told Delai he would spend Christmas and New Years in remand but he would not face a custodial sentence, come February 17, 2023.

He said if the prosecution disagreed with him they could take it up on appeal.

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