Life Imprisonment for Man Over 2021 Killing Of Partner in Vatuwaqa Settlement

A 47-year-old man who battered his 21-year-old partner, until she urinated and was unable to walk before carrying her on his shoulders to their home where he continued beating her causing injuries to her brain and chest that led to her death the same day, has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Sentencing Sivaniola Vunakece this week, Suva High Court Judge Justice Daniel Goundar said the nature of the crime should be condemned in the strongest terms.

“She was someone’s daughter and a mother. She did not deserve to die at the hands of a man who she was having an intimate relationship with,” Goundar said.

“The victim was killed in an inhumane and degrading manner. She was subjected to public display of violence. The onlookers did not assist her.”

During the proceedings, Vunakece pleaded not guilty to the charge, he did not express any remorse for his crime, and attempts were made to label the deceased as a prostitute and a thief. He told the court that he was provoked, a stance the court rejected, convicting him of murder.

The accused is not eligible for parole until he has served 25 years in prison.

He had been in remand since October 2021, following the incident in a settlement in Vatuwaqa.

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