Group of youth in Vanuatu sentenced for ‘barbaric’ Wan Smolbag attack

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Wan Smolbag director Peter Walker and two close friends were assaulted outside his Port Vila property last year. Image: Loose Cannon

By RNZ Pacific

Four people convicted of assaulting the director of Vanuatu’s highly acclaimed Wan Smolbag Theatre Company have been sentenced for what the judge has called “truly barbaric treatment of innocent, unsuspecting members of the community”.

Peter Walker and two close friends were assaulted outside his Port Vila property nearly a year ago.

Justice Andre Wiltens said the behaviour had permanent consequences for the victims.

He said to categorise the offending as serious was inadequate, saying it was an act of unprovoked gratuitous violence.

The Vanuatu Daily Post reports that Samuel Molsir, 23, was sentenced to 11 years and four months in prison on each charge of sexual intercourse without consent, robbery and intentional assault, as well as a further year for criminal trespass and theft.

Andrew Irmaneng, 21, received 10 years and four months for each crime.

David Assial, 18, got 22 months suspended sentence on each charge and ordered to undergo supervised anger management.

The youngest culprit, John Bule, who is 14, received a suspended three year sentence and ordered to undergo similar anger management.

This article is republished by the Pacific Media Centre under a partnership agreement with RNZ.

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The Pacific Media Centre at Auckland University of Technology also collaborates with other Asia-Pacific media centres engaged in research and cultural production and develops cultural and research publications, building on the success of the peer-reviewed publication Pacific Journalism Review, media freedom project Pacific Media Watch and current affairs website Asia Pacific Report.

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