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Consider progressive approach, dad told

Shalveen Chand
Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A FATHER alleged to have caused the death of his two-year-old daughter in Baulevu, Nausori was told to consider a progressive approach to his case.

Former Fiji Rugby Union operations manager Vilikesa Rinavuaka is alleged to have been in charge of a motor vehicle which had his three children inside when it rolled backwards down a slope crushing the toddler.

Justice Salesi Temo told Mr Rinavuaka's counsel, Naipote Vere, that the prosecution's case was not solely based on the fact whether the hand brake was pulled or not.

He said a progressive approach should be considered.

He said the sentence for manslaughter ranged from a suspended sentence to 12 years in jail.

Justice Temo added that should the matter go to trial, he will have to look at the sentence formally if the accused was convicted. Earlier on, the state prosecutor told the court their account of events.

Michael Delaney told the court the vehicle was parked on a slope driveway with the engine running.

The court was told that Mr Rinavuaka and his wife had gotten off the vehicle with two children still inside.

The court heard that shortly after the third child got into the vehicle, it started going backwards down the slope and then tumbled off to a more steeper part.

The court heard that the toddler was partially thrown out of the window and was crushed to death.

Mr Vere told the court he would not be able to make it to court on February 24 because of a case on Taveuni.

Justice Temo told him the court was busy and it was imperative that he be in court or he would be forced to report Mr Vere to the Chief Registrar.

Mr Vere gave his assurance that he would be there.

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