A Savusavu man’s thirty months imprisonment sentence for stealing 205 pearls at the value of $61,500 has been reduced to 18 months after he appealed against his sentence before the High Court in Labasa.
The High Court heard that the man’s appeal was on the grounds of that the Magistrate did not take into account that he was a first offender and the Magistrate did not advise the man on the benefit of legal aid before the plea was taken on the first day of appearance.
The Court also heard that the man is 34 years of age, married with two children, his wife is currently pregnant, he is the sole breadwinner for the family and he committed the offence to supplement low wages he received from his employer.
The Court also heard that the man was working as a pearl cleaner at the Fiji Pearl Company, together with two colleagues cleaned up to 1,200 pearls and their shells a day and in this process the man stole 205 pearls but the theft was revealed when pearls were offered for sale on the streets of Savusavu and the employer became suspicious.
He will be eligible for parole after serving a sentence of 12 months.
By Mereani Gonedua