JULIA DAIA BORE
THE National Court in Wewak, East Sepik province, has found a 50-year-old man guilty of killing his wife during a domestic argument.
The accused, Anton Jimbira, hails from Maprik district in East Sepik province.
The offence was committed at their family home at Yaungange No 1 in the Maprik district on March 14 this year.
Jimbira pleaded not guilty, but presiding judge Justice David Cannings last Thursday, ruled that the accused
had killed his wife, Rosalina Anton.
During the trial, the court heard the accused and his 18-year-old son Hilary give evidence which in essence stated that the only force applied by the accused against his wife was two slaps to her face.
However, Justice Cannings said: “Having observed the demeanour of both Hilary and his father in the witness box and taken into account the invidious position in which Hilary was placed – by being asked to give evidence against his father – I am satisfied that both were lying.
“The assault was much worse than they made it out to be. I find that the accused inflicted at least one severe blow to the deceased’s abdomen or back and that this is what caused her spleen to rupture. He, therefore, directly killed her.
“If I am wrong in drawing that conclusion, the only other reasonable hypothesis – that by slapping her, this caused her to fall on something and rupture her spleen – also results in the conclusion that he killed the deceased, albeit indirectly.”
The State’s case was that during the domestic argument, the accused assaulted his wife and within 10 minutes of the assault, she died of a ruptured spleen.
The accused admitted to arguing with his wife and slapping her on the cheeks and gave sworn evidence that was all he did.
The State argued that the circumstantial evidence pointed only to the conclusion that the accused’s assault of the deceased led to her death; hence, the manslaughter charges under section 302 of the Criminal Code.