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Lawyer requests admission for client

Shalveen Chand
Wednesday, January 22, 2014

DEFENCE counsel for a young man who was convicted yesterday by the Magistrates Court in Suva has asked if her client could be committed to the St Giles Hospital for his own betterment.

Sema Semisi, 18, pleaded guilty to burglary and theft.

He admitted entering a house in Rotuma and stealing a bowl of doughnut and also admitted to stealing a cane knife, with which he slaughtered a pig.

The court proceedings had to be conveyed to the accused in the Rotuman language.

Semisi has been in remand for more than three months.

His lawyer Barbara Malimali told the court that Semisi committed crime because he was hungry.

She said a psychological analysis was done on the young man and it was found that his cognitive development was lacking.

Ms Malimali told the court because of the language barrier, there was a need for Semisi to spend more time at the psychiatric hospital.

She added that Semisi had similar incidents in the past where he would just walk into anybody's compound and take fruit if he was hungry.

She said the accused came from a village lifestyle where he spent time between his parents' and grandparents' place.

According to Ms Malimali if Semisi was sent to prison he would grow into a hardened criminal.

She said there was a Rotuman nurse at St Giles who could help the doctors communicate with Semisi and then the doctors could work towards his rehabilitation.

Chief Magistrate Usaia Ratuvili will sentence Semisi this Friday.