9-year jail term for man who stabbed wife at her workplace in 2019

A man who stabbed his wife in Suva in 2019 resulting in injuries that caused her death has been sentenced to 9 years in prison after being found guilty of manslaughter.

Luke Nasetava, who is in his 30s, stabbed his wife, multiple times at her work place in Walu Bay, Suva on 31 August 2019 following an argument over her whereabouts the night before.

Court documents showed that the couple had been living together since December 2011. They got married five years later. In December 2018, the deceased moved in with her uncle in Nabua while Nasetava operated his grog business in Lautoka. They kept in touch and sometimes visited each other. In August 2019, they bought a vehicle which was registered under the deceased’s name and kept by her in Nabua.

However the same month their phone conversations were sometimes not pleasant, they were constantly arguing about their relationship to a point whether the deceased would tell Nasetava that they go their separate ways that left him “heartbroken” . He started to suspect that his wife was having an affair in Suva. His suspicion was heightened by reports from third parties that he would send around to Nabua to check on her. On the morning of the incident on Saturday, 31 August 2019, they had argued over the phone over her whereabouts on Friday 30 August 2019. He took a taxi the same day from Lautoka to “try and resolve their marital problem. He began to lose control by consuming liquor on the way.”

He first visited his mother in Nasinu upon arriving in Suva before he went to his wife’s workplace. Witnesses’ account stated that the deceased was “shocked to see the accused…and appeared confused.”

They also overheard Nasetava asking the deceased over her whereabouts the night before to which the she responded that she did not want to talk to him and swore at him. Witnesses also said that Nasetava’s”tone was loud, strong and angry.” They later heard her shout. He had stabbed her with a knife that was on a table inside the office. Witnesses stated that he ignored their pleas to him to stop stabbing his wife.

Nasetava later surrendered himself to officers at the Totogo Police Station. Hiw wife was taken to CWM Hospital where she died.

In sentencing Nasetava at a recent high court sitting in Suva, Justice Salesi Temo started with a sentence of six years. He added six years for aggravating factors. He then deducted two years and three months to account for the time Nasetava had sent in remanded in custody, leaving a balance of nine years nine months. A further nine months was deducted for mitigating factors and being a first offender.

Nasetava is not eligible for parole until he has served eight years behind bars.

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