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Second chance

Mere Naleba
Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A MAN acquitted of rape last week by High Court judge Justice Prabaharan Kumararatnam has been given another chance to correct his ways and support his young family.

Rupeni Baleitamavua escaped a jail term and was given a suspended sentence on a count of assault and ordered to pay a $100 fine for another of breaching a suspended sentence.

Passing sentence, Justice Kumararatnam told Baleitamavua the court was giving him a final chance to live a normal life with his family.

In mitigation, Baleitamavua told the court his 25-year-old wife had just given birth and that his one-month two-week-old child constantly needed medical attention along with his wife.

He also asked the court to allow him time to pay the fine. Baleitamavua said he was heavily intoxicated at the time the offence was committed.

He said he had met the complainant in a Suva restaurant and asked to use her phone.