15 Jun 2004

PNG judge says longer sentences justified by increased criminal gun use.

3:56 pm on 15 June 2004

A Supreme Court judge in Papua New Guinea has called on the courts to impose much longer prison terms for people convicted of crimes involving guns.

Justice Mark Sevua was critical of the increase in violent crimes using firearms and said he believed the courts contributed to the present situation.

He said when judges in the National Court impose long jail terms in some cases, they are often criticised by fellow judges in the Supreme Court.

But Justice Savua said he did not think the Supreme Court could continue to criticise judges for imposing sentences of 15 years and upwards in serious robbery cases because the crime was getting out of hand.