Crime & Court

Wife Killer Gets Life Sentence, And A Lecture From Judge

Baba was handed a minimum term of 18 years to be served before the offender may be considered for a pardon.
11 Aug 2020 10:54
Wife Killer Gets Life Sentence, And A Lecture From Judge

A murder committed with an intention to kill should attract a longer minimum term of imprisonment than murder by recklessness.

High Court Judge Justice Sunil Sharma made the comment when sentencing a 29-year-old construction businessman, Serupi Baba, to mandatory life imprisonment for the murder of his wife.

Baba was handed a minimum term of 18 years to be served before the offender may be considered for a pardon.

What happened

On March 12, 2016, at Nadi, Baba heard a rumour that his wife was having an affair. Without verifying the rumour, Baba went to the deceased’s workplace and lied to her that their son had been involved in an accident in Suva, and brought her home.

At home, Baba assaulted the deceased several times on her face and mouth until she fell sideways and hit her head on the floor.

The offender also beat the deceased with a mango stick. He then left the house leaving the deceased in an unconscious state.

The deceased died at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital due to severe head injuries, which caused a stroke on the left side of her brain and then septicaemia due to bed sores.

What the judge said

“Gone are the days when domestic violence was considered to be a private affair. A family lost a valuable member and three children have lost their mother at a young age due to the offender’s selfish acts. Imagine the pain and suffering the deceased had to endure as a result of the offender’s assaults,” Justice Sharma said.

“The mind-set of the society must change now, domestic violence should no longer be treated as a private matter otherwise more deaths and serious harm will continue to hit the headlines which will erode the very fabric of society.

“Domestic violence should be considered as everyone’s concern now more than ever. This case was a horrible example of an unresolved domestic issue resulting in tragedy.”

Justice Sharma said the deceased did not do anything that would have provoked the offender, when confronted she denied having an affair and also told the offender not to believe such rumour, however, the offender continued with his assault.

He highlighted that the offender used a mango stick to assault the deceased which in the process broke. He said the offender breached the trust by lying to the deceased to lure her home as the deceased had trusted him and left her workplace to go home with the offender.

He said the deceased was defenceless and vulnerable and the offender did not have any regard for the life of the deceased. Justice Sharma told Baba that he was a coward.

“The unprovoked attack on the defenceless victim was gruesome, callous and heartless. You left her lying in an unconscious state. The assaults were so intense that your immediate neighbour was uncomfortable and afraid when she heard the screams of the deceased.

“You cannot be forgiven for what you have done,” the judge told Baba.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

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