News in Brief

Sentenced for assault

The Suva Magistrates Court convicted Pranil Singh of assault and annoying a person after the man pleaded guilty to two charges, one each for punching his sister and swearing at her.

According to the summary of facts, the incident took place in December 2013, when the complainant was visiting her mother who stayed with the accused. The court heard that after an argument, Singh punched his sister on the face and at the same time used obscenities at her.

The complainant told the court that the accused had not attempted to apologise or reconcile but she had forgiven him.

Singh was given a suspended sentence and bound over for 12 months (Report by Shalveen Chand)

Lal for Labour

The National Farmers Union President Surendra Lal will contest the general elections representing the Fiji Labour Party (FLP). He was a Member of Parliament following the general elections in 2001 and 2006.

Mr Lal did not say if he would quit his Union post.

A farmer of Vunika in Labasa, Mr Lal became NFU’s Labasa branch Secretary in 1997 and for FLP in the 1999 general elections. He declined an offer to contest the general elections in 2001 but won in the 2006 polls.

He said that he would contest in the forthcoming elections on an FLP ticket, saying that the Party is in the right track with people’s support.

“The Party has been dealing with issues on the ground. There is overwhelming support for the Party and people know who to vote for come the polling day (Reported by Avinesh Gopal).

Former resident dies

A former Fiji resident who suffered 80% burns has died.

Monika Chetty, who sustained the injuries last month in West Hoxton, New South Wales, was hospitalised after being found in bush land in the area.

She died in a Sydney hospital on January 31.

According to ABC News Network, the 39-year-old woman died as a direct result of the injuries, which according to the detective on the case would have caused her great agony.

“Detective Superintendent James Johnson said there had been a flood of witness reports since Ms Chetty’s plight came to light,” the network said.

The detective said that Ms Chetty had been separated from her husband and children and had on numerous occasions been spotted begging in Parramatta and living out of her car (Reported by Dawn Gibson).

Schoolteacher jailed

A former schoolteacher was jailed for two years for having sex with a student. The High Court in Suva told the man that it did not matter if the girl had made advances towards him first.

He was initially charged with rape and was acquitted after a trial, however, the assessors found him guilty on a charge of defilement and the court convicted him accordingly.

Justice Paul Madigan said it was easy for a 15-year-old girl to develop a crush on a young teacher and go to any level to ensure the achievement of her desire.

The incident happened three weeks into school in 2011, and three weeks into the defendant’s first teaching job (Reported by Shalveen Chand).

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