R v Soomery (CO 81 of 2020) [2023] SCSC 253 (31 March 2023)


  1. The Convict Lewis Soomery pleaded guilty to 3 counts of unlawful wounding contrary to Section 224 (a) of the Penal Code and was convicted accordingly. The victims of the incidents were his nephew, Malcolm Soomery, his mother Florie Seth (now deceased) and his brother Ralph Soomery. All the offences were committed in the course of the same altercation on the 25th October, 2020 at Takamaka, Mahe. All the offences carry a sentence of 7 years each.
  2. Learned Counsel for the convict moved the Court in mitigation to consider the provisions of Section 26 (b) of the Penal Code and not to impose a sentence of imprisonment on the convict. Learned counsel submitted that the Court can impose a suspended sentence or a fine in lieu of imprisonment.
  3. Learned Counsel further moved the Court to consider the Probation Services Report which recommended a suspended sentence to be imposed on the convict.
  4. Learned Counsel further submitted that the convict has pleaded guilty, accepting responsibility for the incident and shown remorse. Learned Counsel submitted that the nature of the injuries were not serious and were non-residual. Learned Counsel submitted further that as a result of the altercation, the convict was also injured and had to be admitted to hospital for 4 days.
  5. Learned Counsel referred the Court to the cases of Rep v Rico Josias & anor where the convict was sentenced to imprisonment for 1 year suspended for 3 years and a fine of SCR 5,000/- for a similar offence. The case of Rep v Abdul Asward CO 66/2019 also was referred to where the convict was sentenced to 6 months suspended for 2 years and fines totalling SCR 15,000/-.
  6. I have considered the mitigating factors put forth by learned Counsel for the convict. I further note that the convict is 48 years old with 2 dependent children. He is a self-employed Mechanic and Panel beater. He has pleaded guilty and saved the Court time and expenses of a trial. I also take into consideration the Probation Services Report and recommendation for a non-custodial sentence.
  7. I nevertheless take note that the convict is not a first offender and the last offences were committed in 2016 although the sentences which were fines and suspended sentences of imprisonment could have been imposed within the last 5 years. It is the norm in the circumstances to give the convict the convict the benefit of more favourable terms in imposing sentence. Hence in this case I will consider those sentences not to have great relevance and the convict is treated as a first offender for the purposes of these current offences.
  8. I further observe that in a family dispute of this nature which ended up in a brawl with injuries all-round, there should be focus on healing and reconciliation rather than just punishment and retribution.’
  9. Considering all the circumstances of the case, both the mitigating and aggravating factors, I proceed to impose the following sentences on the convict;


Count 2 -         1 year imprisonment suspended for 3 years plus a fine of SCR 15,000 out of which SCR 12,000 shall be disbursed to the victim Malcolm Soomery as compensation.

Count 4 -         1 year imprisonment suspended for 3 years plus a fine of SCR 3,0000/-.

Count 5 -         1 year imprisonment suspended for 3 years plus a fine of SCR 18,000 out of which the sum of SCR 15,000 shall be disbursed to the victim Ralph Soomery as compensation.

Further Orders:

                        1 – All sentences of imprisonment shall run concurrently.

2 – The Convict is given 6 months to pay all the fines (totalling SCR 39,000) in default he shall be committed to serve the suspended sentences of 1 year.

3 – The Convict must not commit any similar offence within a period of 3 years. Should the convict be convicted of any similar offence committed within the 3 years’ period of suspension of the above sentences, the one year imprisonment sentences will be activated.

  1. The Convict can appeal against the sentences within 30 working days of today.

Signed, dated and delivered at Ile du Port on 31 March 2023



Dodin J

Judge of the Supreme Court

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