Contradictory reports see manslaughter case dismissed

A manslaughter case involving a 29-year-old man from Yule Island, in the Kairuku district of Central Province, has been dismissed in court because of a lack of vital evidence to commit him for trial.

The Central Committal Court on Tuesday dismissed the case against Joshua Gini David after he was arrested and charged on 18 January last year for unlawfully killing his step daughter, who was 16 years old at the time of her death.

Allegations brought by police before the court stated that David sexually assaulted the 16-year-old before she committed suicide by hanging herself on 2nd December, 2015, at her family home.

The deceased was the daughter of his partner at the time of the alleged offense.

Police reports before the court alleged that David was possessive over the deceased and tried having a sexual relationship with her. This allegedly led to many arguments between him and his wife when the deceased would tell her mother.

It is alleged that on the morning she committed suicide, a picture of one of her cousin brothers was found on her phone by the defendant. Furious, he belted her before ordering her to strip naked in front of him.

Facts before the court state her mother came to her defence and another argument arose between them. He cut the deceased’s hair off before locking her up in the house and drove out to drop the deceased’s mother at work.

He later returned to the house and was seen by an eyewitness outside, however what happened after that, there was no evidence before the court.

The magistrate, upon assessing the evidence before the court, was of the view that the materials provided by police did not collaborate with medical evidence.

“Court notes that there was only one witness who saw the man outside the house on the day the victim committed suicide, however he stated in police report that he only saw the defendant outside the house,” Magistrate Ben Kome said.

“Defendant said he used the knife to fix the brakes of his car. Police evidence of crime scene was also noted however, the court noted that they were mostly assumptions and the evidence did not correspond with the medical evidence.”

The medical report before the court stated that the deceased died as a result of hanging and there was no finding of rape or sexual penetration.

“Unfortunately, there was no other evidence to show that the defendant assaulted the deceased and the court is of the view that the evidence in the police file is not sufficient,” Magistrate Kome added.

“The court has arrived at the ruling that there is no sufficient evidence to commit the defendant to stand trial in the National Court. That’s the ruling of the court in regard to all the evidence stated in the police file.

“The ruling of this court is only based on what was stated in the police file and most of what was stated in the police file was mostly based on assumptions.

“In this case, the crucial evidence was the medical evidence and assault stated in the evidence against you,” Magistrate Kome added before discharging the man of his charges.

His bail monies will also be refunded.

Sally Pokiton