NATION

Mother Of Four Convicted of manslaughter

The husband of a woman con­victed of manslaughter was told by the High Court in Suva yesterday that the Social Welfare De­partment would intervene if there was no one available
25 Sep 2018 10:06
Mother Of Four Convicted of manslaughter

The husband of a woman con­victed of manslaughter was told by the High Court in Suva yesterday that the Social Welfare De­partment would intervene if there was no one available to care for their four children.

Sangeeta Devi appeared before Jus­tice Vinsent Perera with her defence lawyer Mohammed Yunus. State law­yer Kesa Elo appeared for the prosecu­tion.

Devi was alleged to have murdered her new born child on January 9, 2016 at her home in Khalsa Road, New Town, Suva.

She was convicted for a lesser charge of manslaughter.

During sentence hearing Mr Yu­nus requested the court to consider the fact that the accused has four children aged seven, eight, 12 and 13 years old.

Mr Yunus pleaded for his client to be given a suspended sentence so she could care for them.

Ms Elo submitted the aggravating factors was the seriousness of the offence in that a life was lost and the child was vulnerable.

Ms Elo said it was the accused’s re­sponsibility as a mother to care for the child and it was never a choice to end the child’s life.

She said the accused lacked remorse when she said she did not know that she was pregnant and that she had de­livered a baby even after the doctors had told her otherwise.

Ms Elo pleaded with the court to take a starting point of eight years imprisonment when sentencing Devi.

Justice Perera said the accused was reckless because she did not seek medical attention, however he was not clear how the umbilical cord was severed and there was no evidence that Devi did the act purposefully.

The court heard that the child died from excessive blood loss.

Justice Perera gave time until 1pm today for both parties to make sub­missions whether manslaughter of a child should be treated more seri­ously than manslaughter of an adult.

The accused has been further re­manded in custody and her sentence will be delivered on September 27, 2018. Edited by Percy Kean

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