Man guilty of assault on pregnant partner

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Jone Vakarisi on his way to the Suva Magistrates Court in an earlier court sitting. Picture: FILE

A man found guilty of two counts of assault causing actual bodily harm and one count of criminal intimidation was spared life imprisonment after the High Court in Suva found him not guilty of one count of act with intent to cause grievous harm.

Jone Vakarisi was charged in relation to an incident at his home on Rewa St, Suva, on Christmas Day 2021, where he was alleged to have beaten his partner.

He was charged with two counts of assault causing actual bodily harm, one count of act with intent to cause grievous harm and one count of criminal intimidation.

The matter was called for judgement before High Court judge Justice Dr Thushara Kumarage.

It was alleged that he punched her, hit her with a mop stick, threw a kitchen knife at her, struck her with a cane knife and beat her with a steel rod, after she came home after a night of clubbing in Suva.

The prosecution led the evidence of his former partner, most of which was corroborated by the evidence of a medical doctor who examined her after a complaint was made at the Raiwaqa Police Station on December 29, 2021.

Justice Kumarage said Vakarisi told the court he was concerned about her as she was pregnant at the time and because she came home during the COVID-19 curfew hours.

He told the court on the afternoon of Christmas Day she asked him if she could go out with her friends and he gave her some money to go out.

Vakarisi denied beating her with a steel rod and striking her with a cane knife. He said if he did, he would have ended her life.

He admitted to punching her and hitting her with a mop stick.

Justice Kumarage said while the elements of all the offences were present for the counts of assault causing actual bodily harm and criminal intimidation, the court needed to find whether he acted with intent to cause grievous harm.

The matter will be called for sentencing and mitigation submissions on April 20.

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