Crime & Court

Murder Accused Admits Punching Wife, Tells Court He Tried Saving Her

It was alleged that he murdered his 35-year-old wife in Kalabu, Nasinu, on January 10, last year.
11 Aug 2020 13:55
Murder Accused Admits Punching Wife, Tells Court He Tried Saving Her
Jekope Naimawi outside the High Court in Suva on August 4, 2020. Photo: Ashna Kumar

Murder accused, Jekope Naimawi, admitted in court yesterday that he punched his wife after she spat on his face.

While giving evidence at the High Court in Suva, Naimawi who is charged with one count of murder, said he tried to save his wife when her clothes caught fire.

Charge

Naimawi is on trial before Justice Salesi Temo.

It was alleged that he murdered his 35-year-old wife in Kalabu, Nasinu, on January 10, last year.

Naimawi had allegedly assaulted his wife with a white biscuit tin which contained homebrew and then poured benzene over her before setting her on fire while she lay unconscious

Taking the stand

He told the court that while drinking with his wife and others under the pine tree on the day of the alleged offence, his wife swore at him for spilling the homebrew.

He told the court that he had advised his wife to go home, however, she spat on his face.

Naimawi told the court he then punched her. He also told the court that another person who was drinking with them named Mesake stopped him.

The court heard that the deceased then ran to one Selai’s house after which he followed her and called for her, but there was no response.

Naimawi told the court he recalled calling his wife until he reached a bedroom, his wife responded and came out of the room after which they left to go to their house.

He told the court that when they entered their home through the kitchen door, he noticed that the dishes were not washed and house not cleaned.

He told the court that his wife said she would clean it later and went to their bedroom where she changed her shirt.

Naimawi told the court that his wife swore at him again and told him to get their daughter as she would go to Tovata to see a friend.

Naimawi told the court that he then threatened her that he would find another woman to look after them if she left.

This was when she pulled out a drawer and fell on a spray bottle.

How she died – Naimawi tells his side of the story

Naimawi told the court that his wife swore at him again, and kicked a gallon of benzene.

When his wife stood up, he told the court that she slipped and fell on the benzene spilled on the carpet.

He told the court that he went to the kitchen to get a towel when he heard an explosion and his wife screaming.

Naimawi told the court that he saw that his wife’s tights were burnt and pulled her out of the room.

He told the court that he made her lie down on the mat and pulled off her tights and shirt that she was wearing.

Naimawi also told the court that he saw the room burning and he ran outside to fill a bucket with water to put out the fire and pour over his wife.

He recalled that he saw his wife crying in pain because of the burns sustained. The trial continues today.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

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