A man has been sent to jail for cutting off his wife’s toes in front of their children.
Jeffery Isu pleaded guilty to two counts of intentional assault and threatening to kill.
Supreme Court Judge Gus Andree Wiltens said the first offence occurred on September 20, 2018, Isu took a knife and cut off his wife’s toes during a domestic dispute.
Justice Wiltens said the offence occurred in their home in front of their eight children, whose ages range from five to 18 years.
Mr and Mrs Isu have been married for 20 years, but it appears the background to all the offending emerged after Mrs Isu was involved with another man.
The court heard that between March 1 to 13, 2019, there was an occasion when Mr Isu again in the course of a domestic incident, threatened to kill his wife.
He told her he would cut her and instructed her to wait while he fetched a knife but fortunately she didn’t wait and the matter remained only at the level of a threat, again in front of the children.
It is unclear why Isu only first appeared in Court on March 13, 2019, as his wife first complained just days after the first incident.
However, as he now had two charges against him, he was remanded in custody. He achieved bail on April 16, 2019.
The judge said the third offence happened while Isu was on bail.
This was the most serious of his offending. Again, at home and in the presence of their children, on this occasion Isu attacked his wife with an iron bar.
In the course of the attack he struck his wife in the head and knocked her unconscious.
She spent some time in hospital recuperating. A medical report filed in purpose for this proceeding revealed that there was a deep laceration to the left scalp; compound fractures of the jaw; an injury to her left eye socket; a superficial laceration to her upper back; and profuse bleeding from her jaw and scalp.
Justice Wiltens said that there are no mitigating factors to the offending but numerous aggravating factors to be taken into account.
The court noted that the offending all occurred at the home of Mrs Isu, where she was entitled to feel safe and the children were present at all three occasions – and were given the wrong message by their father as to how to behave in the society.
“The third offence happened while Mr Isu was on bail,” he said.
“It is the most serious of the offences, as it involved the use of a weapon to attack his wife’s head, the most vulnerable part of the body.
“She ended up in hospital with a jaw broken in several places, as well as other injuries.
“The offending is of a repetitive nature and it was deliberate and involved on two occasions the use of a weapon to perpetrate actual violence.
“The attacks and threat were made to Isu’s wife of 20 years – they involve a breach of trust”.
The judge then adopted a starting point of five years for three offences with no mitigation but he could avail himself of that in September 2018 that was no longer the case in March and May 2019. This factor carries little weight.
He said that Isu has undertaken a custom reconciliation ceremony with his wife, involving an apology and the payment of VT12,000 and Justice Wiltens viewed that he is really just using family money to pay his wife, who most likely used the cash for the benefit of the family.
He said the reconciliation amount does not amount to very much. That is especially when taking into account that at the same reconciliation ceremony Mrs Isu apologised to Mr Isu for her involvement with the other man and paid Mr Isu VT10,000 cash. In net terms, Mrs Isu was given only VT2,000.
Mr Isu admitted that he is remorseful and for the personal mitigating factors the court allowed a reduction from the sentence start point of six months imprisonment.
Lastly, Isu pleaded guilty to the charges at the earliest opportunity, which would ordinarily merit a reduction of one-third from the appropriate sentence.
The defendant was remanded in custody from March 13 to April 16, 2019; and again, from six May 2019 to date. It is therefore appropriate to back-date the start point for his sentence.
He was given a final three years to be served behind bars for all offences and the weapons he used to carry out the offences were ordered to be destroyed.
SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST