Rioting asylum seekers receive jail sentences in Nauru
Two asylum seekers
convicted last month (16 May) of riot and unlawful assembly at the
Nauru Regional Processing Centre in July 2013 causing $60-million
in damages, received their separate jail sentences today (5
The first accused
received a reduced sentence of two years and five months for
unlawful assembly and riot, and the second accused received a
reduced sentence of 11 months for
In handing down the
sentence for the first accused Resident Magistrate Ropate Cabealawa
said the appropriate starting point for unlawful assembly is nine
months imprisonment, but two years for the offence of
In the case of the
second accused, His Honour said the appropriate starting point for
the offence of riot is one year.
took into account aggravating and mitigating factors as well as the
defendant's personal circumstances, when he added and reduced the
duration of both sentences. Additionally, he made another reduction
of one month in both cases for time already spent in
declined to suspend sentencing.
"I am of the view that
the circumstances of this case do not warrant a suspended sentence.
The purpose of sentencing the accused persons today is deterrence.
This is deliberately done to send out a strong deterrent message to
the offenders and potential offenders that their conduct is
completely abhorred and rejected by society. Those who indulge in
these kinds of activities should expect to receive long sentences,"
His Honour Cabealawa said.
The charge of unlawful
assembly comes under section 61 of the Criminal Code of Queensland
1899 and the charge of riot under section 63 of the Criminal Code
of Queensland 1899.
The defendants have 28
days to appeal their sentences.
Another case that was
adjourned from Monday (2 June) is further adjourned until tomorrow
to allow time for the defence to make a submission later