NATION

Handicraft seller jailed for manslaughter

A 46-year-old self-employed handicraft seller was sen­tenced to four years and 10 months imprisonment in the Suva High Court on Wednesday for killing his 48-year-old friend Lamuel Franklin Dass. On
27 Feb 2018 11:00
Handicraft seller jailed for manslaughter
Accused Samson Robinesh Shri Lal.

A 46-year-old self-employed handicraft seller was sen­tenced to four years and 10 months imprisonment in the Suva High Court on Wednesday for killing his 48-year-old friend Lamuel Franklin Dass.

On May 28, 2016, the accused Samson Robinesh Shri Lal was drinking alcohol with the de­ceased at his mother-in-law’s house when a fist fight erupted between the two.

The fight started when the ac­cused tried to stop Dass from touching his mother-in-law’s thigh.

In his caution interview, the ac­cused said the deceased was more drunk than him and when the deceased started punching him the accused picked up a knife and pointed it at the deceased.

Dass sustained injuries on the left side of his lower chest.

The wound continued between the eighth and ninth rib cage causing more incised wounds on the deceased’s spleen.

Judge Justice Vincent Perera said the accused knew of the substantial risk that his conduct would cause serious harm to Dass and have regard to the cir­cumstances known to him it was unjustifiable for him to take that risk and engage in such a con­duct.

Justice Perera concluded that the accused’s conduct was not a reasonable response to defend himself from the deceased.

“Provocation is not a defence for the offence of manslaughter but is a relevant factor for sentenc­ing,” he said.

In his mitigation, Lal’s lawyer Lisiate Qetaki submitted that the accused was in a de facto rela­tionship and has a son from that relationship.

The lawyer for the accused also requested the court to impose a non-custodial sentence because the accused had applied for an Australian visa to look after his mother.

The aggravating factors were that the deceased was vulnerable because of intoxication and the use of a knife as a weapon.

Lal was ordered to serve two years and 10 months jail time be­fore he can be eligible for parole.

Edited by Mohammed Zulfikar

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