Crime

Ex-Soldier Gets Life Imprisonment For Attempted Murder Of Former Partner

Padyachi, 29, had attempted to kill his former partner in a pool in Colo-i-Suva.
12 Dec 2019 12:25
Ex-Soldier Gets Life Imprisonment For Attempted Murder Of Former Partner
Rajiv Padyachi outside High Court . Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Former soldier Rajiv Krishnan Padyachi, 29, was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in jail for attempting to murder his former partner.

Padyachi appeared before Judge Justice Chamath Morais yesterday at the High Court in Suva.

He had attempted to drown his 35-year-old partner while swimming in a pool in Colo-i-Suva after they agreed to go for an early morning swim on September 15, 2018.

A team of Police officers heard the woman’s cry for help and managed to save her and arrested the accused. The victim had sustained injuries during the incident.

Padyachi has been sentenced to life, subject to him being eligible for consideration of pardon after serving 15 years of his jail sentence.

Justice Morais, in his sentencing, said the act was pre-planned and the culpability was high.

“Level of harm occurred was moderate as for the victim impact statement,” he said.

“The relationship between Padyachi and the victim falls within the ambit of Domestic Violence Act of 2009.

“Breach of trust committed by Padyachi is an aggravating factor.”

He further said that at the trial, it was revealed how Padyachi was introduced to the victim, how the relationship started and developed, how she lent him a colossal sum of money to assist him and subsequently, how she constantly pestered Padyachi to pay her money back.

Justice Morais said it was apparent that though Padyachi had promised to pay her back and misled her, he never had sufficient means to pay her back and never intended to comply with his undertaking.

“As for your vision, you were irritated and made very uncomfortable by her presence and the association,” he said.

“Therefore, as a panacea, having meticulously planned and deviously executed, you attempted to kill her, masking it to be an accident.

“You would have succeeded in your evil attempt if not for the uninvited presence and the timely intervention of the Police boxing team.”

The court heard that none of the parties invited the court to not set a minimum term.

Justice Morais said it had been the practice of the court and the exception of not setting a minimum term should be exercised only in extremely serious cases, which bear hardly any mitigating circumstances.

“Therefore, I decide to set a minimum term of imprisonment to be served by Padyachi before consideration of his pardon,” Justice Morais said.

The court also heard that Padyachi was 28 years old at the time of the incident and bore a clean character up to then.

Defence lawyer Gavin O’Driscoll had submitted that Padyachi was remorseful and had paid 50 per cent of the money borrowed from the complainant and had been in remand for five weeks.

Padyachi was given 30 days to appeal his conviction and/or sentence.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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