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Trial Over Death Of Baby Starts

Trial Over Death Of Baby Starts
July 04
15:15 2017

The trial of a couple charged with a count each of manslaughter started yesterday in High Court in Suva.

It is alleged that in 2013, Petero Taitusi, 34, and Loata Vitalina, 29, of Sawanikula, Dawasamu, were alleged to have failed to ensure the safety of their one-year 10-month old baby, which resulted in the baby’s death.

The trial is being presided by Justice Vincent Perera.

State witness: Taina Maresela

Examined before Justice Perera, the first State witness, Taina Maresela, a staff nurse at the Samabula Health Centre, told the court that referrals were made to another doctor for the baby.

This was because the baby needed further assessment and hospitalisation when brought in by the mother to the health centre on February 19, 2013.

She told the court that she had had discussions with two other doctors who gave directions that the child be given three millilitres of saline through nebulizer for the baby to inhale.

After a while she said when she did a repeat count of the baby’s breathing beat, it was fast and not normal.

There was also a harsh sound from the baby’s chest which was also not normal, she said.

Ms Maresela told the court further that Vitalina had, however, come to ask for hookworm tablets. But despite telling the accused that the baby needed to be brought in for assessment, Vitalina told the nurse that there was nothing wrong with her baby and she only needed hookworm tablets.

The nurse’s assessment later however revealed that the baby had swollen eyes and legs as well, apart from the fast breathing.

The trial continues today.

Edited by Naisa Koroi


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