A man from Vuigalato on Ambae has been given a suspended sentence but ordered to do 100 hours of community work after he was found guilty of intentional assault.

Abel Quaga faced one count of intentional assault causing permanent injury contrarty to section 107 © of the Penal Code Act.

The offending took place on January 7, 2018 at Vuigalato on Ambae island.

On the night before the incident, the defendant assaulted the victim on the chest with a piece of wood.

In the morning he approached the victim again with a knife in his hand.

He cut the victim with the knife on her right arm and cut off the tip of the right index finger.

A medical report from Lolowai Hospital showed that the victim sustained cuts on her right forearm and the tip of the index finger was severed, which will leave a permanent scar.

A formal complaint was raised and the defendant was arrested.

After cautioning by the police, the defendant admitted the offending

The maximum penalty for the offence was recently increased by Parliament from five to 10 years.

The offence was committed after the Act was amended.

Prosecution submitted that the starting point for the offending of unprovoked attack and use of a knife to cause permanent injury should be six years imprisonment.

The Court adopted a starting point of five years.

Then mitigating factors were taken into consideration.

The defendant was a first time offender, he pleaded guilty at the first instance, he cooperated with police and had spent two months in custody.

After deductions, an end sentence of 18 months imprisonment was reached by the Court.

The defence counsel submitted that the sentence should be suspended.

The Court then suspended the sentence for two years, also taking into account the fact that Ambae has been affected by the volcano and the defendant will have to find another place to re-establish himself.

With the suspension of the sentence for two years, the defendant was given 100 hours community work to be done over a period of 12 months.