Judiciary

DPP will not appeal Turagalevu’s sentence

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mr Christopher Pryde, will not appeal the sentence of imprisonment for Ponipate Turagalevu. Ponipate Turagalevu was convicted and sentenced to three years and eleven months imprisonment by the Suva Magistrates’ Court for two counts of dangerous driving occasioning  death, two counts of dangerous driving occasioning bodily harm, one count of driving […]

Nacanieli Tuilevuka

July 8, 2016 1:00 pm

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mr Christopher Pryde, will not appeal the sentence of imprisonment for Ponipate Turagalevu.

Ponipate Turagalevu was convicted and sentenced to three years and eleven months imprisonment by the Suva Magistrates’ Court for two counts of dangerous driving occasioning  death, two counts of dangerous driving occasioning bodily harm, one count of driving without a valid driver’s license and one count of failing to comply with requirements following an accident.

The decision to appeal against sentence is considered when there is evidence that the Court has made an error in exercising its sentencing discretion or if the Court has acted upon wrong principles or imposed a sentence that is outside the tariff for the offence.

The DPP has carefully reviewed the sentence handed down to Ponipate Turagalevu and is satisfied that there was no error in the sentencing process and therefore declines to appeal the sentence.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions is currently reviewing the  sentence of Ponipate Turagalevu who had driven the vehicle between Samabula and Nabua which involved the death of two people last month.

The decision on whether to appeal or not will be made next week.

Turagalevu has been charged with the following two counts of dangerous driving occasioning death, two counts of dangerous driving occasioning bodily harm ,one count of driving without a valid driving license and one count of failing to comply with requirements following an accident.

Turagalevu was sentenced to three years and eleven months imprisonment by the Suva High Court last month.

The 49-year-old man who caused the death of two people in the Samabula-Nabua road accident last month has been sentenced to three years and eleven months.

Ponipate Turagalevu outside the Suva Magistrates Court this afternoon. (Nacanieli Tuilevuka)
Ponipate Turagalevu outside the Suva Magistrates Court. (Nacanieli Tuilevuka)

Ponipate Turagalevu appeared before Magistrate Waleen George at the Suva Magistrate Court this afternoon.

Turagalevu had pleaded guilty to the following charges:

  • two counts of dangerous driving occasioning death
  • two counts of dangerous driving occasioning bodily harm
  • one count of driving without a valid driving license
  • one count of failing to comply with requirements following an accident.

Magistrate George said Turagalevu is disqualified from obtaining a driving license and is not allowed to drive for the rest of his life.

Magistrate George said Turagalevu admitted that he was speeding on that night the accident happened and fell off to sleep.

Turagalevu will be eligible for parole after serving three years and five months behind bars.

A 49-year-old man appeared at the Suva Magistrate Court this afternoon for the death of 2 people in the Samabula and Nabua road accident last month.

Ponipate Turagalevu appeared before Magistrate Waleen George.

Police prosecutor Lenaitasi Sautaki presented the medical reports, vehcile license report from the Land Transport Authority (LTA), and the post-moterm reports to the court.

Magistrate George has adjourned the case to the 30th of May for sentencing.

Turagalevu has been further remanded in custody.

The driver, 49-year-old Ponipate Turagalevu who was involved in the fatal accident between Samabula and Nabua last month has pleaded guilty to all of his charges.

Ponipate-Turagalevu
Ponipate Turagalevu. (Fiji Police Force)

Turagalevu appeared before Magistrate Waleen George yesterday, he has been further remanded in custody and will be sentenced next Friday.

His lawyer made mitigation submissions in court yesterday saying that the accused is the sole bread winner and has seven children.

Turagalevu has been charged with the following:

  • two counts of dangerous driving occasioning death
  • two counts of dangerous driving occasioning bodily harm
  • one count of driving without a valid driving license
  • one count of failing to comply with requirements following an accident.

Meanwhile, the 19‑year‑old who died in the accident was laid to rest yesterday while the 21-year-old was laid to rest last Friday.

49-year-old Ponipate Turagalevu, the driver that was involved in the fatal accident between Samabula and Nabua last month will appear at the Suva Magistrates Court today.

Meanwhile, the 21-year-old who died after the accident was laid to rest last Friday while the 19‑year‑old who died after the accident will be laid to rest today.

A man believed to be driving the rental car involved in a fatal crash in Nabua on Sunday morning is now in police custody.

Police spokesperson Naina Ragigia said the driver surrendered himself at the Samabula Police Station this morning. He is expected to be questioned soon.

Two of the four men hospitalised after an accident in Nabua early Sunday morning have died.

Police spokesperson Inspector Josaia Weicavu confirmed that a 19-year-old student of the University of the South Pacific died earlier today.

WEICAVU: “One of the three victims involved in the Samabula Accident last Sunday morning passed away at the CWM hospital early this morning.  Police are still looking for the driver who has been missing from his home.”

Four men were hospitalised at the CWM Hospital in Suva after the vehicle they were travelling in veered off the road along Ratu Mara Road between Samabula and Nabua early yesterday morning.

Editor’s Note: The Police have today issued an apology and clarified their initial releases.  At the time of this article, one person has lost his life in the accident, while three are admitted at the CWM Hospital.  Police suspect there may be a fifth person involved according to eyewitness statements.

(VFR VERT Rescue Fiji/ Twitter)
(VFR VERT Rescue Fiji/ Twitter)
(Eka Kapaiwai Baba/Facebook)
(Eka Kapaiwai Baba/Facebook)
(VFR VERT Rescue Fiji/ Twitter)
(VFR VERT Rescue Fiji/ Twitter)
(VFR VERT Rescue Fiji/ Twitter)
(VFR VERT Rescue Fiji/ Twitter)

Police spokesperson Inspector Weicavu yesterday confirmed that one of those included in the accident had passed away.

WEICAVU: “He is a 21-year-old man of Cunningham Road.”

Police have not ruled out the possibility of a fifth man to be involved in the accident.

RAGIGIA: “The search is still on for the driver that is believed to have been driving the Toyota Fielder Rental that veered off road yesterday. Meanwhile, we wish to confirm that one person had lost his life in the horrific early morning accident yesterday and 3 people remain admitted at the ICU Ward at CWM Hospital.”

(Eka Kapaiwai Baba/Facebook)
(Eka Kapaiwai Baba/Facebook).

On Sunday, Police spokesperson Inspector Josaia Weicavu told Newswire that it was four men, who were believed to be drunk, involved in the accident.

WEICAVU: “We initially believed that there were five men involved in the accident of which the driver had fled the scene, but upon further investigations we now think that it was highly unlikely for that to happen judging by the nature of the accident.”

Inspector Weicavu said two victims had been transferred to the ICU department while the third victim is still admitted to the Accidents & Emergency ward.

WEICAVU: “We are awaiting recovery of these men for us to further our investigations.”

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