Justice Temo commends accused’s honesty

HIGH Court judge Justice Salesi Temo yesterday described a man who pleaded guilty to one count of possession of illicit drugs as a “real man”.

Jovesa Tawake was found in possession of 8.1 kilograms of marijuana in a hotel room in Deuba on April 4, 2017.

Justice Temo told Tawake that his behaviour was rare and that he was the first person from Kadavu to “man up to his action”.

Tawake agreed with the summary of facts presented by State prosecutor Unaisi Tamanikaiyaroi and maintained his guilty plea.

Justice Temo convicted Tawake of the offence accordingly and said he would reduce Tawake’s sentence.

His lawyer Lavinia David in her mitigating submission said her client’s early guilty plea was to be recognised and that he was also a first offender.

Ms David said Tawake sought forgiveness from the court and promised not to re-offend.

She said her client was a farmer on Kadavu and he was supporting his grandfather who lived in Suva.

Tawake was initially charged with Sela Vugakoto and Robert Hilton with one count of possession of illicit drugs.

Tawake has been remanded in custody and will be sentenced on April 12.

Mr Vugakoto and Mr Hilton pleaded not guilty to the offence. Bail has been extended for the two accused persons.

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