A man has escaped an imprisonment sentence after the court convicted him for killing his nine-month-old daughter when he threw a fire wood at his wife.
Justice David Chetwynd said that the facts which were conceded by the defense are that on December 28, 2015, Alfred Nasse was very angry with his wife.
The wife had involved a chief to resolve a domestic dispute between her and her husband.
Justice Chetwynd said that Nasse was asleep when he was called to the meeting.
This angered Nasse and he left the house with a piece of firewood and threw it at his wife.
The firewood missed her but struck their nine-month-old child on the head.
“The injuries caused were so severe that the child died,” the Judge said.
“The defendant has entered a plea of guilty to a charge of unintentionally causing the death of his daughter.
“It is difficult to know how to sentence this man.
“Sentencing implies punishment but how can you punish a man when he no doubt was punished himself for causing the death of his daughter.
“Be that as it may I am obliged to sentence him.”
The Judge said that the maximum penalty for such an offence is five years imprisonment and it is a serious matter to cause someone’s death whether unintentional or not.
He said that this is an offence caused because of recklessness.
Nasse threw a lump of firewood at his wife who was carrying the baby daughter at the time and if he had stopped and thought about it for an instant he would no doubt have recognised the danger, the Judge continued.
“His anger blinded him to the possibility of harm being caused to his daughter,” he said.
“The offence happened in 2015 very nearly two years ago.
“The delay has not been caused by the defendant.”
He said that in his view the starting point in this case is 18 months imprisonment.
Nasse has never been in trouble before and he has clearly shown remorse for his actions and he has participated in a custom reconciliation ceremony with his wife and her family.
The Judge then reduced six months from the sentence.
He said that Nasse entered his plea of guilty at an early stage and the court accepted his not guilty pleas on the charge of intentional homicide.
He said that the defendant is entitled to a reduction for that guilty plea and the sentence will be reduced by three months leaving 12 months.
The offence happened nearly two years ago and there has been no re-offending and Nasse has kept a good relationship with his family.
“I do not see the defendant as a danger to the community or his family,” the Judge said.
“In the circumstances the sentence should be suspended for two years.
“I accept the recommendation of the Probation Officer that Mr Nasse should be subject to supervision and I make a supervision order for 12 months.”
SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST