NATION

Parents Acquitted Of Manslaughter Charge

I thank God, says mother, after court case begun two years ago It was bitter sweet victory for parents charged with manslaughter arising from breach of duty of their child.
11 Jul 2017 11:00
Parents Acquitted Of Manslaughter Charge
Petero Taitusi and wife Loata Vitalina after their acquittal on July 10, 2017. Photo: Jone Luvenitoga

I thank God, says mother, after court case begun two years ago

It was bitter sweet victory for parents charged with manslaughter arising from breach of duty of their child.

Loata Vitalina and Petero Taitusi walked out of the court house yesterday with tears and a sigh of relief when the High Court in Suva acquitted them of the charge.

Vitalina, said she was happy that her case had ended because she would always see their names and pictures in the news.

“I want to tell the people that it has been two years since our case has been in court and the whole of Fiji knows what happened through the media and we are thankful that we have been acquitted today,” she said.

“I thank God that we have been acquitted,” said Taitusi.

It was alleged that on February 28, 2013 at Sawanikula Village in Vunidawa, Petero Taitusi and Vitalina had failed to ensure the safety of their one-year-old child who was under their charge and such failure caused his death.

Justice Vincent Perera said: “It is easy to be wise after the event and it is human nature that we feel guilty of unfortunate events in hindsight with the thought that if a particular course of action was taken, we could have avoided such events.

“But this wisdom in hindsight is not sufficient to establish criminal negligence in the offence of manslaughter arising from a breach of duty.”

Justice Perera further stated that the evidence by the first prosecution witness in informing Vitalina about the child’s medical condition was not consistent.

“I believe the evidence of Vitalina who said that she was only told to wait for the ambulance and she was not informed about any serious medical condition the deceased was having,” Justice Perera said.

“I also believe her evidence that she decided to go home because the deceased was hungry after waiting at the health centre for a considerable period of time.”

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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