Court jails arsonists

IN two separate arson sentencing last week, the High Court jailed a 29-year-old woman for six months for burning her father’s house, causing $70,000 in damage, while a 53-year-old man was handed a four-year sentence for setting fire to his wife’s house, valued at a little more than $13,000.

In the first case, Ana Maria Radiniunilele admitted to burning her father’s house at Qilai Village in Namosi while under the influence of marijuana.

Her father was away fishing at the time of the incident.

High Court judge Justice Aruna Aluthge said the accused had admitted under caution interview that she burnt her father’s blanket and threw it on a mattress in the living room where gallons of benzene were located.

Justice Aluthge said the accused had strong mitigating factors, including her being a first offender and being remorseful for her actions.

He also considered the 102 days she spent in remand before passing sentence.

He said of the sentence of two years, six months would be spent in prison while the remaining 18 months would be suspended for two years.

Meanwhile, in the second arson case, Sitiveni Naucusou set alight his wife’s home after a domestic spat, resulting in $13,034 of damage.

High Court judge Justice Rangajeeva Wimalasena sentenced the man to four years and 10 months in prison with a non-parole period of two years.

An interim domestic violence restraining order was also issued to protect the complainant.

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