PETER WALKER’S ATTACKERS SENTENCED

Wan Smolbag director and co-founder Peter Walker. Photo: Dan McGarry| File

The four young men who were involved in the brutal attack of Wan Smol Bag’s Founder, Peter Walker and his relatives, have been sentenced.

Justice Gus Andrée Wiltens gave this description of the incident when handing down the verdict.

“This case involved a truly barbaric treatment of innocent, unsuspecting members of the community, by a group of four young men acting together, with permanent consequences flowing for the complainants,” he said.

“To categorise the offending as serious is simply inadequate. This must be one of the worst examples of unprovoked, gratuitous violence in Vanuatu’s history.”

Samuel Molsir received an end sentence of 11 years 4 months on each charge of the offences of sexual intercourse without consent, robbery, and intentional assault causing permanent harm. The 23-year-old father of one was sentenced to a further 1 year imprisonment for criminal trespass and theft.

Andrew Irmaneng who is 21 years old was convicted of sexual intercourse without consent, robbery and intentional assault causing permanent harm. He will serve 10 years 4 months’ imprisonment on each charge.

Irmaneng also received an additional 1 year imprisonment sentence for the offence of criminal trespass.

Two other young offenders received suspended sentences but were ordered to carry out community services.

18-year-old David Assial received a 22 months’ imprisonment on each charge, suspended for 3 years.

He would undergo a 2 years’ supervision with the conditions that he attends and satisfactorily completes programmes, dealing with anger management awareness, juvenile workshop ‘Jois blong gud lyfe’.

He was also ordered to partake in a 200 hours of community service in his residential area, and within his direct community.

The youngest in the group, John Bule received a suspended sentence for 3 years for his sentence of 20 months’ imprisonment.

Like Assial, 14-year-old Bule would also go through 2 years’ supervision with conditions and that he attends and satisfactorily completes programmes, dealing with anger management awareness, juvenile workshop ‘Jois blong gud lyfe’. He must carry out 160 hours of community service in his residential area.

Justice Wiltens reminded Bule and Assial of the second chance they were given.

“They need to remain offence-free for 3 years, or they can be incarcerated for the periods of their respective sentences.”

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