A FIFTY-SEVEN-year old man who cold-bloodedly hacked two people to death in September last year and attempted to murder another person was sentenced to life imprisonment by the High Court in Labasa yesterday.
Jagan Nath, an American citizen, appeared before judge Justice Daniel Goundar.
He was charged with two counts of murder and another count of attempted murder.
The court heard that Jagan Nath hacked 92-year old Madho and Mr Madho's 57-year old daughter, Amra Wati, who was in a legal union with him.
The court also heard that Nath had also attempted to murder Gyatri Devi, the daughter of his wife from her previous marriage, who had shouted out for help from neighbours who rushed over and overpowered the accused.
The incident happened at Vunivau outside Labasa Town on September 17, 2012.
Passing sentence, Justice Goundar said the attack on the victims was ferocious as revealed by the post-mortem examination reports on the deceased, Mrs Wati, Mr Madho, and medical report of Mrs Devi.
Justice Goundar also said that Mrs Devi's injuries had left permanent scars on her forehead and body and that she now required full-time care as her mobility was limited.
"The accused no doubt was in a position of trust and under moral duty to protect the members of his household," he said.
"He breached that trust and duty by slaying his wife and father-in-law with an axe. He intended to kill his step-daughter, Gyatri, but fortunately she survived, but to live with the horror and scars of the attack on her," he said.
Justice Goundar said the court had a duty to pass a sentence that denounced and deterred crimes of this nature.