The lawyer representing a man who was sentenced to 17 years in jail for assaulting his wife in front of church pastors and members has told the Court of Appeal (COA) that his client’s intention was to scare his wife, not murder her.
The COA this week heard the appeal of Johnson Namri who was found guilty and sentenced for assaulting his wife with a hammer, after allegations that he found the pastor’s clothes in his wife’s bedroom in a church at Anamburu.
The wife was reportedly living at the church compound while Namri was looking after their children at home.
Before the attack happened, Namri alleged that he saw the same pastor whispered to his wife and later the day, she failed to attend the church service. This made him angry.
After church Namri went home, took the hammer, went back to the church and assaulted his wife. She was taken to the hospital for medical treatment the same day after the attack.
He was sentenced for one count of premeditated attempted intentional homicide and two alternative charges — intentional assault and threats to kill a person.
Defence lawyer Brian Livo from the Public Solicitor’s office appealed the judgment and the sentence, saying the presiding judge was too harsh to his client but the case was not that serious.
Mr. Livo who lead the defense in the case said his client did not murder the victim but inflicted some injuries which he claimed were ‘not permanent’.
He said his client intended to scare her off instead of intentionally murdering her as claimed by the prosecution.
He said if Namri’s intention was to murder his wife then he would do it right away at the time of the offending.
The lawyer said Namri used a ‘small hammer’ at the time to assault his wife with but he would use a bigger hammer at the time if his intention was to take her life.
He also stressed that Namri withdrew himself for further assaulting the victim to avoid murdering the victim as claimed and no one stopped him during the assault.
“The other point is if our client wanted to murder his wife then the assault would never happen in public,” he said.
“Instead it would happen somewhere private, where there is no one around”.
Mr Livo also made an application seeking a 1-year deduction for good character that was overlooked by the presiding judge.
The appeal judges presiding the case are: Justice Daniel Fatiaki, Justice Oliver Saksak, Justice John Von Doussa, Justice Robert Young, Justice Dudley Aru and Justice Andree Wiltens.
The final judgment on the appeal of this case will be handed down on November 16, 2018.