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Judge Overturns Opinion

Judge Overturns Opinion
Asena Senimoli
December 20
13:29 2014

High Court judge, Justice Salesi Temo, overturned the assessors’ unanimous guilty opinion in Asena Senimoli’s case.

Senimoli, 26, was charged with a count of murder of her baby girl in 2012. However Justice Temo found her guilty for the count of infanticide although she was not originally charged for it.

In summing up Justice Temo read that Senimoli on April 19, 2012, at about 3am started having labour pains when she went to the Wainimala River, Naitasiri, near her home and gave birth to a baby girl.

Afterwards she placed the umbilical cord on a stone and cut it with another stone by smashing on it.

She then went into the river sought forgiveness from her baby, kissed her and placed the baby in the river.

Seinimoli was brought up by her grandparents and at the age of 17 years, before finding out about her parents. She was then taken by her mother to Nadi where Senimoli claimed she was treated like a housegirl.

She had given birth to a child which was also cared for by her grandparents.

The court was told that Senimoli conceived her second child from her boyfriend but had kept that secret from him as well.

Justice Temo while giving his judgment yesterday said the assessor’s opinion was not perverse however he said they should have considered the defence case of infanticide.

Justice Temo said infanticide was when a person’s balance of mind was disturbed which he found so in Senimoli’s case.

He said Senimoli had not fully recovered from the birth of her child; she had kept her pregnancy secret; did not seek any medical consultation and the surrounding she lived in contributed to her actions.

He said when she gave evidence she said she sought forgiveness from the baby but in her Police caution interview Senimoli told the baby that “she is going to throw her in the water.”

He acquitted Senimoli for the charge of murder but convicted her for infanticide.

She will be sentenced on December 24, 2014.




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