Criminal Law in Solomon Islands
Table Of Contents
When interpreting any section of the Penal Code (Ch. 26), section 3 must be considered. That section states:
'This Code shall be interpreted in accordance with the Interpretation and General Provisions Act and the principles of legal interpretation obtaining in England, and expressions used in it shall be presumed, so far as is consistent with their context, and except as may be otherwise expressly provided, to be used with the meaning attaching to them in English criminal law and shall be construed in accordance therewith.' (emphasis added)
In Toritelia v R  SILR 4 the Court of Appeal examined the term 'fraudulently'. Whilst that term was examined in context of the offence of 'Embezzlement' as prescribed in section 273 of the Penal Code (Ch. 26), the legal reasoning should be adopted when interpreting the same term as prescribed in section 313 of that Code.
White P stated at page 7:
'In the United Kingdom the Theft Act 1968 replaced the Larceny Act 1916 but the Solomon Islands provisions have remained unaltered.'
It is therefore appropriate only to refer to cases which refer to the latter Act for the purpose of interpreting the offence of 'Robbery'. In that regard see section 23 of that Act.
Section 173 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Ch. 7) states:
'When a person is charged with robbery, and it is proved that he committed an assault with intent to rob, he may be convicted of that offence although he was not charged with it.'
(a) '[Name of Defendant] at [Place] on [Date] [being armed with an offensive (weapon or instrument) to wit a (specify the offensive [weapon or instrument]) or together with (one or [specify any number more than one]) person/s namely (specify the name of this/these person/s)] did [rob or assault with intent to rob] a person namely [specify the name of this person].'
(b) '[Name of Defendant] at [Place] on [Date] did rob a person namely [specify the name of this person] and [at the time of or immediately (before or after)] the said robbery did [use or threaten to use] personal violence to [the said person or a person namely (specify the name of this person)].'
'[Name of Defendant] at [Place] on [Date] did rob a person namely [specify the name of this person].'
E. [i] Rob; or
[ii] Assault With Intent To Rob
If there are no admissions, to be found guilty of this offence, 'the only rational inference open to the Court to find in the light of the evidence' must be that the defendant intended to rob the complainant, see R v Dudley Pongi (Unrep. Criminal Case No. 40 of 1999; Muria CJ; at page 22).
The law relating to 'Circumstantial Evidence' is examined commencing on page 183.
Intentional or unintentional intoxication may be considered for the purpose of determining whether the defendant had the necessary 'intent' at the time of the commission of the offence, see section 13(4) of the Penal Code (Ch. 26).
The term 'Armed' is not defined in the Penal Code (Ch. 26) or the Interpretation & General Provisions Act (Ch. 85).
In R v Jones (1987) 85 CrAppR 259 [ 2 AllER 692;  1 WLR 692] Tucker J, delivering the judgment of the Court of Appeal, held at page 266:
'The expression "armed" is an ordinary English word. Normally, it will involve either physically carrying arms, or it will involve proof that, to his knowledge, a defendant knows that they are immediately available. In our judgment, it is not necessary to prove an intent to use those arms if the situation should require it, though clearly if a defendant does use them, or has used them, then that is an obvious indication that he is armed.'
See also: Rowe v Conti; Threlfall v Panzera  VR 547;  ALR 1038.
[37.6.2] Dangerous Or Offensive Weapon Or Instrument
The terms 'Dangerous Or Offensive Weapon Or Instrument' are not defined in the Penal Code (Ch. 26) or the Interpretation & General Provisions Act (Ch. 85).
Section 8 of the Penal Code (Ch. 26) states:
'A person is not criminally responsible in respect of an offence relating to property, if the act done or omitted to be done by him with respect to the property was done in the exercise of an honest claim of right and without intention to defraud.' (emphasis added)
The jurisdiction of the Courts in respect of the offence of 'Robbery' is examined commencing on page 14.
The law relating to 'Sentencing' in respect of that offence is examined commencing on page 918.
The following offences are related to the offence of 'Robbery' as provided for in the Penal Code (Ch. 26)::
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