NEWS

State Lawyer Asks for 25-Year Jail Term

State lawyer in the case against a 37-year-old man convicted for the murder of his wife has asked for a minimum term of imprisonment of 25-years. The accused, Venktesh Premal
23 Mar 2018 11:50
State Lawyer Asks for 25-Year Jail Term
Murder accused Venktesh Premal Goundar being escorted while outside the High Court in Suva on March 22, 2018. Photo: Fonua Talei

State lawyer in the case against a 37-year-old man convicted for the murder of his wife has asked for a minimum term of imprisonment of 25-years.

The accused, Venktesh Premal Goundar, was convicted by High Court Judge Justice Salesi Temo for one count of murder when he set fire to his wife. The incident took place at the Bargain Box Shop in Lautoka on April 4, 2015.

His late wife, Sharol Sania, 25, suffered 35 per cent burns on her body and passed away at  Lautoka Hospital on April 14, 2015.

The three assessors delivered a unanimous guilty opinion which was affirmed by Justice Temo, who also agreed with them.

The evidence revealed that the accused and his wife had been married for nine years and had three children together – aged eight-years-old, four-years-old and one and-a-half-years old respectively.

The family lived in Raviravi, Ba and had allegedly been having matrimonial issues for a couple of months after the accused suspected his wife of having an alleged affair with a Police officer.

The evidence revealed that the accused went to meet his wife at the shop on the day of the incident and set fire to her inside the shop.

The medical report stated that the deceased died from alleged septicaemia or blood poisoning due to infection of the burns she sustained.

In mitigation, the defence lawyer submitted that the accused was deeply remorseful and had suffered from high blood pressure as a result of the wife’s alleged affair.

The defence lawyer also sought a minimum sentence of 12 years imprisonment for the accused.

The defence submitted that the accused’s children were now being looked after by their 69-year-old grandmother who was unemployed.

The accused was remanded in custody and will be sentenced in the High Court on April 6, 2018.

Edited by George Kulamaiwasa

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