Crime & Court

Teenager Pleads Guilty To Murder, Robbery And Theft

The court heard that Mani was charged with one count of murder, one count of aggravated robbery and one count of theft. He allegedly committed all his alleged offences between February 8 and 9 in Lautoka. Justice Sharma asked the accused if he wished to speak to a Legal Aid Commission Counsel before he took his plea.
03 Sep 2019 14:22
Teenager Pleads Guilty To Murder, Robbery And Theft
Murder accused Avniel Dilesh Mani at the Lautoka Magistrates Court on February 12, 2019. Photo: Nicolette Chambers

An 18-year-old teenager has pleaded guilty to charges of murder, aggravated robbery and theft.

Avneil Dillesh Mani appeared before Judge Justice Sunil Sharma at the High Court in Lautoka yesterday. Mani told the court that he waived his right to counsel and wished to plead guilty to all his charges. State prosecution was represented by Semi Babitu.

The court heard that Mani was charged with one count of murder, one count of aggravated robbery and one count of theft. He allegedly committed all his alleged offences between February 8 and 9 in Lautoka. Justice Sharma asked the accused if he wished to speak to a Legal Aid Commission Counsel before he took his plea.

The court heard that Mani would speak with a Legal Aid Counsel and the matter would be called after a short while. Mani returned with Legal Aid lawyer Nimita Sharma who told the court that she had discussions with Mani and that he still chose to plead guilty.

The charges were read out to Mani in Hindi and English.

The particulars of the offence for the first count of murder was that Mani had allegedly murdered Pushpa Chandra in Simla, Lautoka.

For the count of aggravated robbery, Mani is alleged to have robbed Pushpa Chandra of a mobile phone, $7 cash and a motor vehicle.

For the count of theft, Mani is alleged to have dishonestly appropriated a Dell Laptop and a pair of safety boots belonging to Abishek Chandra Nair with the intent to deprive Mr Nair of his property.

Mani told the court that he understood and pleaded guilty to all the charges. Justice Sharma asked the accused if he was pleading guilty of his own free will and Mani agreed. Mr Babitu requested seven days to file submissions.

Justice Sharma adjourned the matter to September 13 for a summary of facts. Mani has been further remanded in custody.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

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