Marau murder case adjourns


The murder case from Marau, south-east Guadalcanal has been adjourned for April 23 for mention.

Constance Manepania is facing one count of murder.

Prosecution yesterday told court investigations have completed with only the photograph album left to be filed.

Prosecution also told court all disclosures except the photograph album have been served to defence.

Court meanwhile raised the concern that delays from the forensic department such as gathering photographs is becoming a norm. Court instructed prosecution to next time explain in detail why forensic documents such as photograph albums are delayed.

Court then adjourned the matter for April 23, instructing defence to indicate which type of preliminary inquiry to be carried out for committal hearing.

Police alleged October 8, 2023 late in the evening, the deceased and some of her relatives boarded a canoe to an island called Ravi within the Marau area to sleep over for fishing during the night time.

Next day at about 8am, the deceased and two other relatives boarded another canoe to the mainland to collect food and water for the group on the island.

When they reached mainland, they dug some swamp taro, refilled some containers of water.

At about 4pm the deceased and the other girls loaded their canoe and departed for Ravi Island.

About few metres from the mainland the deceased complained that her body was not feeling well, and was afraid to go to Ravi island, so she decided to stay back on the mainland.

The other girls left the deceased along the shore so that she could walk back home.

The deceased then left Tawanikeni village along the sea shore back to her village Kompa’u.

Prosecution alleged that it was on her way back to her home village that the accused attacked her.

A witness who was on his way to the airport that day heard a sound of a crying person. When the witness got closer to where the crying sound came from, he saw Manepania holding a bush knife in his right hand.

Manepania led the witness to where the deceased was lying unconscious then he stepped onto the deceased’s forehead and squeezed the neck of the deceased until she stopped breathing.

After that Manepania demanded and ordered the witness to take the dead body down to the sea and sink it.

The accused allegedly threatened the witness to carry out this act, saying he would cut the witness with the bush knife if he did not comply.

Police at Marau received a report of the incident on October 10, 2023, when villagers around Marau area saw the deceased’s body washed ashore in front of the Conflict Lodge.

Irene Mae appears for the Crown and Happlyn Jennifer appears for Manepania.

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