NEWS

Jailed For Life For Killing Wife

Married couples should utilise the Family Court to resolve matrimonial disputes instead of taking matters into their own hands. High Court Judge Justice Salesi Temo sounded the advise yesterday, while
15 Mar 2018 10:00
Jailed For Life For Killing Wife
Hem Rabneet Singh escorted by a Police officer after his sentencing on March 14, 2018. Photo: Fonua Talei

Married couples should utilise the Family Court to resolve matrimonial disputes instead of taking matters into their own hands.

High Court Judge Justice Salesi Temo sounded the advise yesterday, while sentencing a 33-year-old Sigatoka man to a mandatory life imprisonment term. The accused Hem Rabneet Singh was charged with one count each of murder and giving false information to a public servant which he pleaded guilty to in Court.

On July 1, 2015 the accused murdered his wife Saleshni Lata and later lied about it to a detective. The couple had three young children together and lived in Tagitagi Settlement in Cuvu.

While sentencing Singh, Justice Temo said: “Life is precious in this world and there is no justification to take away someone’s life unless it was a case of self-defence.”

He said the deceased had given him three children and looked after him in the domestic arena.

“There was absolutely no need to take away her life at the age of 29-years. By having three children with you it has shown that there was a lot of love in your relationship with her,” he said.

Justice Temo reiterated that couples argue and at times arguments become heated, but it was unjustified to use murder as a remedy. He told the accused not to complain when his liberty is taken away from him for life.

The facts revealed that on the day of the murder, the accused and his wife woke up at 6:30am, had tea before he went to his vegetable farm while his wife prepared their children for school. He ploughed his farm from 8am to 10:30am and returned home where he rested. Later at 1:20pm the accused milked the cows before he left for his farm again.

His wife asked him for help in planting pumpkin which he assisted her with after he was done from their farm.

While planting pumpkin an argument erupted between them which led the accused to take a nokonoko stick and hit the top of his wife’s head. The deceased fell to the ground, and the accused kicked on her right chest.

Justice Temo said the accused’s assaults were quite forceful, and it appeared the deceased became very weak.

After assaulting her, the accused lifted her onto his horse and rode to Semo Hill which was 40 minutes away.

The Court heard that the deceased fell on the road at Tagitagi Road and the accused lifted her and put her on the horse again before continuing to the hill. At Semo Hill the accused pushed her on the ground and she hit the ground head first. He got off the horse, and hit her again on the head and chest with the stick before dragging her body and leaving it among the grass on Semo Hill. The accused returned home at 2:30pm and when his children returned home from school and told him that their mother was not at home, he pretended that she was missing.

Later on at 7pm he lied to Police that his wife was missing, a lie which he repeated to his family and friends.

Justice Temo ordered the accused to serve a minimum term of 17-years imprisonment before he can be considered for parole by the President of Fiji.

Edited by Mohammed Zulfikar

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj



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