A 28-year-old man from south Santo was given a suspended sentence for threatening to kill his wife by wrapping an electrical wire around her neck and lifting her as if to hang her, in front of their three children.
Wuis Willie insulted his 21-year-old wife and her father, following an argument on June 26. He made threats to kill her verbally and physically.
He wrapped the electrical wire around her neck, lifting her to hang her up twice. He released her when she stopped breathing during the second assault.
Later on July 5, Willie became angry and aggressive after accusing his wife of lying.
He hit her with a piece of wood causing her to bleed. She reported him to her pastor the next morning.
Willie pleaded guilty to intentional assault, making a threat to kill and domestic violence. He also pleaded guilty to an offence of intentional assault.
Making a threat to kill carries a penalty of 15 years’ imprisonment under the Penal Code Act, assault 10 years and 5 years for domestic violence under the Domestic Protect Act.
Judge Edwin Peter Goldsbrough of the Supreme Court considered the mitigation and aggravating factors in his verdict of last month.
The use of weapons certainly makes the assault much worse, as does committing the offence in the presence of their children.
Failing to offer the victim any assistance after beating her does not reflect on the husband well and hanging her until she passed out demonstrates intent to cause serious injury.
A sentence starting point of 3 years’ imprisonment was given to Willie.
The sentence was reduced at 25% and a further 5% for other mitigating factors, leaving a sentence of 25 months’ imprisonment for all offences.
According to the verdict, the court considers that , if coupled with a community sentence and supervision, this imprisonment may be suspended.
Willie has no previous convictions. He was placed on remand since July 11. His wife appears content to take him back into the family; she accepts that the shock of prison may have taught him a lesson.
“The offender must agree to take part in activities organised by the Correctional Department in regards to anger management and family violence,” Judge EP Goldsbrough stated in the verdict.
“He must perform 80 hours of unpaid community work and he is made the subject of imprisonment of 25 months suspended for two years, and a supervision order for the same 2 years.
“Failure to perform the community work or failure to comply with the lawful instructions of his supervisor will see him returned to court to be further dealt with and the commission of any offence punishable with imprisonment within the next 2 years will see him in prison.” Willie was given 14 days to appeal the sentence.
SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST