Saturday, September 30, 2023
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Teenager jailed over mobile phone theft

A 19-year-old casual labourer has been sentenced to 14 months imprisonment by the High Court in Suva for stealing a mobile phone.

The court heard the accused, Tumateu Moceica with an accomplice had confronted an 18-year-old during the evening of 23 April 2023 and forcibly took his mobile phone as he got off a bus in Nakasi and was walking home.

They pushed the victim from behind, snatching his mobile phone valued at $200 and fled the scene.

The incident was promptly reported to the Police, leading to their arrest and the mobile phone was later recovered from a third party who had purchased it.

Presiding over the matter, High Court Judge Justice Daniel Goundar stated that while the young victim was not physically harmed and no significant injuries were reported, the nature of the crime, which was committed under the cover of darkness and with the company of another, was deemed a statutory aggravation.

Taking into account the Tawake Guidelines, Justice Goundar considered the level of harm to be low and pointed out that Moceica is a first-time offender, had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, showed remorse, and the stolen property was recovered.

He started with a base sentence of 3 years imprisonment, added six months for the aggravating factor of committing the crime in the dark, and subtracted two years in light of the mitigating factors presented.

The accused had already served four months in custody on remand and this was reduced from the 18 months initially handed down as the sentence.

Simran Chand
Simran Chand
Cadet Journalist |


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