Man mentally unstable after consuming ‘ginger’

A Sogeri man, who was sentenced to life in jail in 2016 over the barbaric killing of his wife, will now serve 30 years in prison.

This follows his successful appeal against that sentence term.

A three-judge Supreme Court quashed the life sentence because they were of the view the trial judge made some errors.

It found that the National Court did not give enough regard to mitigating factors such as his early plea, absences of planning and Tauba Laiam’s contention that his mind was affected after his father-in-law gave him ‘ginger’.

The Supreme Court today ordered a fresh warrant of commitment to reflect the 30-year sentence.

Tauba Laiam pleaded guilty before the National Court to wilfully murdering his wife, Maria Manai, on May 6, 2015, at Girimu village, Sogeri, in the Central Province.

He killed the mother-of-two by slashing her throat with a knife, and then repeatedly stabbed her on her breast and other parts of her body.

She held their two-month-old baby at that time. She dropped the baby on the ground and died instantly.

The stabbing took place in front of the deceased's mother.

Laiam later stepped out of the house, jumped off a cliff and disappeared.

He surrendered to police, admitting in his section 96 statement in the Committal Court and later pleaded guilty before the trial judge to killing his wife.

Laiam told the National Court through a statement that he was suffering from some form of illusion when he committed the offence.

He said the illusions started after his father-in-law had given him ginger and he was confused at the time of the killing.

Sally Pokiton