24th May 08:52 AM
Levula was a coward for running away after the trial - Justice Temo
By Semi Turaga
Tuesday 19/02/2019

High Court Judge Justice Salesi Temo lashed out with anger and disappointment in the Suva High Court today after receiving news that the man he was set to sentence, Niko Levula had escaped from Police custody.

Police Officers at the Suva Court House cell block this morning

After DPP lawyer Lavenia Bogitini informed the court that Levula had escaped from the court vicinity, Justice Temo questioned how that was possible saying that meant someone was sleeping on the job.

Justice Temo then said that Levula was a coward for running away after the trial.

Senior Police Officers outside the Suva Court House this morning

The outspoken Judge said he had no respect for people who run away after committing a crime.

Justice Temo went on to say that Levula had brought disgrace to his family, Tokatoka or clan and Vanua.

He then said that he understood that Levula was from Naitasiri adding that people from Naitasiri are not scared people as they face up to music but Levula decides to run.

Levula was re-captured by Police in Jittu Estate in Vatuwaqa earlier this afternoon. He used a white hybrid taxi as a getaway vehicle.

Police have confirmed that the driver of taxi has been interviewed and released as he has no direct knowledge of the fact that Levula was escaping from lawful custody.

Levula will have to serve 20 years in prison after being sentenced in absentia by Justice Temo.

Justice Temo said Levula raped and robbed a 37‑year‑old woman and also stabbed her lip and chin.

He said it was obvious that Levula had pre‑planned the act and had no regard for the woman's right for a happy and peaceful life.

A non parole period of 19 years has been set.

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