Twenty-one-year-old Benjamin Ritea Une was on Wednesday convicted and sentenced to 18-months’ probation supervision by the High Court.
In that 18-month time period, Ritea is ordered to serve six months in community service.
Une had admitted to the charge of burglary where he broke into the Kaps Store in Matavera on Monday, September 30, 2019.
He was represented by defence lawyer Mona Ioane who in his submissions told the Justices of the Peace Tangi Taoro, Vania Kenning and Bernice Manarangi that his client was brought up in a family who had a culture of drinking.
Ioane said this was a culture of consuming liquor for close to seven days a week. On the night of the offence, Une was heavily intoxicated, Ioane said.
Ioane supported the recommendation from Probation Services for community service but did not agree to a short-term custodial sentence.
He added that his client was now under the care of his aunt.
JP Taoro in delivering the sentencing decision quoted Une’s words that were in his probation report: “Going to prison is for people with no life.”
JP Taoro told Une: “You should have thought of this, before breaking into someone else’s property.”