Crime & Court

Former Doctor Gets Six Years Jail Term For Death of Taxi Driver

Justice Goundar said the attack on the victim was unprovoked and the offender claimed the victim became abusive and aggressive when he questioned Mr Chand regarding the presence of a child with him at the time of the night.
27 Feb 2020 12:46
Former Doctor Gets Six Years Jail Term For Death of Taxi Driver
Marvin Ray Ketenilagi outside the High Court in Suva on February 26, 2020. Photo: Ashna Kumar

High Court Judge Justice Daniel Goundar says any conduct that takes away the life of an innocent person must be denounced in the strongest term.

He made the remark while sentencing former doctor, Marvin Ray Ketenilagi, 41, to six years imprisonment with a non-parole period of four years for the reckless killing of Shri Chand, 56, in 2018.

On January 25, 2018, at around 3.30am, Ketenilagi saw Mr Chand at Regal Lane- a no through road between the Suva Handicraft Centre and the Westpac Building.

Mr Chand was in the company of a male child inside a taxi when Ketenilagi got into an argument with him for bringing a child out at the time of the night and at that particular location.

Mr Chand, a taxi driver, was separated from his spouse at the time. He was looking after his friend’s child when the friend went to work.

Ketenilagi, 39, at the time of the offence was a medical doctor. He was terminated from his employment after he was charged in this case.

He was returning home after clubbing with friends. Ketenilagi drank substantial alcohol that night, but in his evidence he had said that he was capable of making decisions despite this.

Justice Goundar said the attack on the victim was unprovoked and the offender claimed the victim became abusive and aggressive when he questioned Mr Chand regarding the presence of a child with him at the time of the night.

Justice Goundar said both the victim and child were distressed to a point that they could not speak and the victim was punched in the chest and jaw.

The court heard that the victim tried to deflect the attack by running away, but Ketenilagi pursued him until some youths came to Mr Chand’s rescue.

By the time the attack stopped, the victim was restless, shaken and weak. He had lost consciousness shortly after the attack while driving his vehicle to the Police Station.

“Senseless use of physical violence on innocent victims are becoming too prevalent in our communities,” Justice Goundar said.

“In many cases, alcohol is significantly contributing to the violent behaviour of the offender.

“The courts have a duty to protect the community from anti-social behaviour arising from the use of alcohol.”

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

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