Ulavania gets 13 years for pushing victim off cliff


A man has been sentenced to 13 years imprisonment for pushing another man off the edge of a cliff.

Harrison Ulavania was found guilty of intending cause grievous bodily harm to the victim, Varoro Saitoha.

The sentence was delivered on April 25 at the High Court.

Judge Keniapisia in delivering the sentence said he wants Mr Ulavania and others to know that no one should have the liberty to take away another’s life or attempt to.

Ulavania was charged for one count of act of intended to cause grievous bodily harm contrary to section 224 (a) of the Penal Code Act (Cap 26).

He pleaded not guilty to the charge and the matter proceeded to trial from March 12-14 this year.

During the trial prosecution called three witnesses the last being a doctor who treated the victim after the cliff fall. The doctor confirmed that the serious injuries resulted in a fractured thigh-bone and fractured knee-cap, among other worrying injuries Saitoha sustained.

Due to the seriousness of the case court imposed a starting point of six years imprisonment, then court uplift the starting point sentence upwards due to the presence of serious aggravating factors.

The serious aggravating factors justifying an uplifts are; serious bodily injuring where victim sustain a fractured thigh bone and fractured knee-cap, time spent in the hospital where victim had to received treatment of the serious bodily harm that he sustained, the tremendous pain and suffering where the victim went through, rehabilitation period meaning will take more then six month or a year for victim to rehabilitate and recover and last aggravating Ulavania was intoxicated at the time of the offending.

For all the above five aggravating factors combined, court will inflate the start point sentence by 15 years (three year for each aggravating factors) that bring the total head sentence to 21 years before the mitigation.

The court taken into the accounts the mitigating factors which Ulavania first time offender with not prior conviction. Court deducts four years. His youthfulness submitted by the defence lawyer based on Ulavania personal circumstances court further allow another 4-year reduction.

Courts orders Harrison Ulavania sentence for 13 years imprisonment and pre-trial custody entitlement is allowed for reduction according to records of the Corrections facilities at Rove.

Ulavania was from Kolosulu village, East Guadalcanal and the victim is Varoro Saitoha of Chui Chui village, Central Guadalcanal.

Both accused and the victim lived at a settlement near Gold ridge called Chui Chui down at the big river.

It was alleged on May 13, 2023 late in the evening, the victim and some of his relatives started a card game for money known as Locker at Chu Chu village, Gold Ridge Area, located beside a mining site near a steep cliff.

Ulavania joined the game at 6am, May 13.

After playing for some time, Ulavania complained that he had lost $600 and requested the victim to give him $50.

When the victim gave him the money, Ulavania tore the $50 in half and walked to his tent, returning with a bush knife.

He allegedly tried to cut the victim but was prevented from doing so by bystanders. A scuffle followed which ended up with Ulavania pushing the victim down the cliff.

Victim sustained multiple injuries to his body and was transported to Good Samaritan hospital and later transported to National Referral Hospital.

Andrew Kelesi Director of Public Prosecution Office act for the State and Rochelle Palmer of Public Solicitor Office act for the Harrison Ulavania.

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