Crime & Court

Former Fiji Police Officer Jailed For Manslaughter

The former Police constable allegedly assaulted Mr Lalauvaki after an altercation outside a Suva nightclub on September 2, 2018. Mr Lalauvaki died at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital on October 11, 2018, as a result of injuries he suffered from the alleged Police assault.
21 Nov 2019 13:43
Former Fiji Police Officer Jailed For Manslaughter
Former Police officer Kelepi Duri Tautaumacala Kolinisau after his sentencing on November 20, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar

A former Police Constable, who was convicted for manslaughter for causing the death of Josua Lalauvaki, has been sentenced to five years imprisonment with a non-parole period of three years and four months.

Kelepi Duri Tautaumacala Kolinisau 28, and Ratu Selema Steven Dennis Tikoenaburevere were charged in connection with the death of the late Mr Lalauvaki.

However, after the trial, Tikoenaburevere was acquitted and Kolinisau was convicted for the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Kolinisau appeared before Judge Justice Vinsent Perera at the High Court in Suva yesterday for his sentencing.

The former Police constable allegedly assaulted Mr Lalauvaki after an altercation outside a Suva nightclub on September 2, 2018. Mr Lalauvaki died at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital on October 11, 2018, as a result of injuries he suffered from the alleged Police assault.

In his sentencing, Justice Perera said on September 2, 2018, Kolinisau being a Special Constable was a member of the Drugs Operations Team and his team leader, the second accused who was acquitted, received a call for assistance.

“While you were escorting this person, he punched you on the nose and as a result, there was bleeding from your nose. Thereafter your team leader pushed the deceased on the ground. You then stomped on the deceased stomach and kicked him,” Justice Perera said.

He said the deceased was admitted to the hospital and it was diagnosed that he sustained internal injuries and his pancreas was damaged.

The deceased died on October 11, 2018, and the information of stomping and kicking by Kolinisau substantially contributed to the death of the deceased.

Justice Perera said: “You were in a position of authority and trust. Therefore, there was a breach of trust on your part.

“You had to put up with the swearing by the deceased and his group and you were being punched by the deceased and the other male while you were travelling with them in the vehicle.

“You were assaulted by the other male and the deceased tried to assault your team leader.

“It is clear that you were led by your anger which was formed as a result of the assault by the deceased and his group.

“I hereby sentence you to an imprisonment term of five years. I order that you are entitled to be released on parole until you serve three years and four months of that sentence.

“You have been remanded in custody for a period of one month and 18 days. The period you were in custody shall be regarded as the period of imprisonment already served by you.

“Accordingly you are sentenced to four years, 10 months and 12 days with a non-parole period of two years, 10 months and 12 days,” Justice Perera said.

Kolinisau was given 30 days to appeal to the Fiji Court of Appeal.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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