Magistrate says it’s a ‘not guilty’ case


CHIEF Magistrate Emma Garo has reversed the guilty plea of a defendant, Happy Christmas, to a plea of NOT guilty after the defence lawyer submitted his client acted in “self-defence”.

This is the case of Happy Christmas who was charged for one count of grievous harm in relation to an incident occurred on November 22 2022.

CM Garo in her ruling yesterday emphasizes that from the agreed facts, the submissions put forward by the defence lawyer Tracy Aisa and the failure by the prosecution to dispute the version of events by the prosecution to dispute the version of events as put forward by Ms Aisa, self defence is being raised as a mitigating factor.

“I have a duty to not proceed to sentence, I vacate the guilty plea entered, I enter a not guilty plea. I must hear the evidence, to determine whether or not self-defence, is available to the defendant”, Ms Garo said.

She therefore listed the matter for trial on January 9 to 13 2023 and will be conducted via zoom in which all witnesses will give evidence through zoom from Gizo.

The defence lawyer Tracy Aisa submissions on sentence argued that the complainant challenged the defendant for a fight three times and was armed with weapons.

She argued that the injuries inflicted on the complainant by the defendant, were inflicted as a result of trying to defend him, from being injured by the complainant.

Mr Fanasia submitted that the defendant threw a stone at the complainant, and not dispute the version put forward by Ms Aisa in her submission.

The allegation said that the defendant Christmas had an affair with the wife of the complainant since 2021 and between November 1 and November 22 2022, they ran away and lived at an Island in the Western Province Vasavasara for about two weeks.

On November 22 2022, the complainant went to Vasavasara Island to look for his wife.

The defendant seeing the complainant approaching the tent he lived in on the Island, told the complaint’s wife to run and hide in the nearby bush and then he waited for the complainant.

At that time the complainant approached the defendant armed with a bush knife and a chain, the defendant told the complainant to go back and threw a stone at the complainant, the complainant missed the stone and it was at that time they started fighting each other.

It was further alleged that the complainant was armed with a knife and a chain while the defendant armed with a knife.

They both ran towards each other and swung their knives at each other. The defendant’s knife landed on the complainant’s right deltoid/shoulder.

The defendant again struck the complaint, the knife landed on the right wrist of the complaint. The complainant also sustained injuries to his lower abdomen and lips.

When the defendant saw that the complainant was covered with blood and was helpless, the defendant escaped.

The complaint’s wife heard someone crying in agony came out from where she was hiding and saw it was the complainant, she then assisted him to the clinic.

The matter was then reported to the police in which the defendant is arrested for the offence committed.

Public Prosecutor Paul Fanasia appears for the crown while Tracy Aisa of the Public Solicitor’s represents the defendant.

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