Re­mand Prisoner Who Es­caped Told Not to Ex­pect Five-Star Food

Fiji Sun - - NATION - FONUA TALEI Edited by Ranoba Baoa Feed­back: fonua.talei@fi­jisun. com.fj

Are­mand prisoner, who es­caped from Po­lice cus­tody on the grounds that he was not happy with prison food, was told by the mag­is­trate not to ex­pect fives­tar food.

He was sen­tenced to six months and 14 days im­pris­on­ment.

On March 20, 2018 Semesa Bokini es­caped from Tavua Hospi­tal when he was es­corted there for treat­ment for an in­jury on his foot. He was in cus­tody at that time for a charge of ag­gra­vated robbery.

Par­tic­u­lars

The court heard that on the said date, Bokini was treated at the hospi­tal with an in­jec­tion and dress­ing and es­corted from the dress­ing room to wait for the Po­lice ve­hi­cle for his re­turn to the re­mand cen­tre.

While wait­ing for the Po­lice ve­hi­cle Bokini es­caped from the es­cort­ing Po­lice of­fi­cer.

In his in­ter­view he said af­ter be­ing med­i­cally ex­am­ined on that day he was told to walk to the Po­lice Sta­tion with the of­fi­cer. While walk­ing, he tapped the Po­lice of­fi­cer’s hand and ran out of the hospi­tal. Bokini then crossed a river and waited un­der­neath some bam­boo trees un­til it got dark then he went to his vil­lage where his fam­ily told him to wait for the Po­lice.

He was ar­rested the next day on March 21.

Pros­e­cu­tion stated that the ac­cused had punched the of­fi­cer three times which led to his front tooth fall­ing out.

Mag­is­trate Lisi­ate Fotofili said he was not im­pressed with the ev­i­dence that the of­fi­cer was punched three times and he did not find the Po­lice of­fi­cer can­did and con­vinc­ing in his ev­i­dence.

He fur­ther stated that be­ing sub­jected to in­hu­mane treat­ment such as be­ing starved or fed un­healthy food could be a jus­ti­fi­ca­tion to es­cape from law­ful cus­tody.

How­ever, there was no re­li­able ev­i­dence to sug­gest that the ac­cused’s con­cern about prison food had any merit and that since he was in re­mand he should not ex­pect five-star food.

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