A NADI man who confessed to sniffing glue and smoking marijuana before murdering 44-year-old Puspa Kanta in Vuda three years ago was handed a life sentence by the High Court in Lautoka last Monday.
Niumaia Ravulo Semanaiqoliqoli, 24, appeared before judge Justice Sudharshana De Silva charged with a count of murder and aggravated robbery.
The court heard the deceased had been in Vuda to visit her sister at the time of the incident.
While outlining the summary of facts, Justice De Silva said the accused had confirmed seeing the deceased get off a bus and followed her. He was armed with a kitchen knife
"He offered to carry the bags of the deceased before they sat to talk and he smoked a joint of marijuana," he said.
Semanaiqoliqoli then proceeded to strike the deceased in the neck multiple times before stealing an Alcatel mobile phone, a gold chain and cash, all valued at more than $145.
The deceased managed to reach her sister's residence and was taken to the hospital, but later died from her injuries.
"The accused had stated that it was not his intention to kill her but just wanted to steal her money.
"It was during their struggle that he stabbed her with his knife.
"The aggravating factors in the case are the use of a weapon — knife, the nature of injuries on the deceased and a planned crime as the accused had waited for the victim to come."
Justice De Silva said the mitigating circumstances included the accused being a first offender.
"You are from a broken family and had a troubled childhood, you pleaded guilty to the offences and you are remorseful."
Semanaiqoliqoli will not be eligible for parole until he has served 17 years in prison. He has 30 days to appeal.